Dish with lustre pattern, Iran

Dish with lustre pattern, Iran

Dish with lustre pattern
Iran, probably Kashan
About 1200
Glazed fritware, with lustre painted over the glaze
Museum no. C.158-1977
Ades Family Collection

The potters of Kashan perfected fritware, which was the closest Middle Eastern potters came to imitating porcelain. Fritware is composed of ground quartz and a little clay and glass.

Some Kashan fritware was decorated with lustre. A Kashan potter, Abu'l-Qasim, wrote in 1301 that, when evenly fired, lustre 'shines like the light of the sun'. This example is unusual in its all-over pattern of stylised plant motifs.