Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Mold Fragment with Musicians

Object Name:
Mold fragment and modern cast
late 11th–early 12th century
Excavated in Iran, Nishapur
Earthenware; carved
48.101.5a and b: H. 6 3/8 in. (16.2 cm) W. 6 5/16 in. (16 cm) D. 3 5/16 in. (8.4 cm) Wt. 23.9 oz. (677.7 g) 48.101.5c: H. 5 7/16 in. (13.8 cm) W. 5 5/16 in. (13.5 cm) D. 2 3/4 in. (7 cm) Wt. 12.2 oz. (345.9 g)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1948
Accession Number:
Not on view
This earthenware mold elucidates the manufacturing process of stonepaste, showing how technological advancement and artistic sophistication were incorporated in an industry that became progressively focused on extensive production. The exquisite carving displays, from the top: an inscribed band in cursive; a scene with a standing figure and musicians playing the lute and the flute; and a frieze with chasing quadrupeds. All the patterns have an intricate scrollwork as a background.
Stonepaste Technology in Syria and Iran: Victoria and Albert Museum, London (C.49-1960 and C.68-1931), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, University Museum (39.429), Metropolitan Museum (68.223.9 and 48.101.5a,b), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (M.73.5.282 and M73.5.288), Benaki Museum (ΓE 705), Brooklyn Museum, New York (86.227.61).

Beginnings: The Eleventh Century.
Ceramic production in the Islamic lands from Egypt to Central Asia saw a major change in the second half of the eleventh century, when the development of a new ceramics medium—referred to by scholars as stonepaste—in part replaced earthenware and led to further experimentation with shapes and decorative techniques. Discussed here is a group of monochrome and luster-painted bowls that illustrate well the dynamics of this change from its beginnings into the twelfth century (V&A C.49-1960 and C.68-1931, MFA 39.429, MMA 68.223.9 and LACMA M.73.5.282 and M73.5.288); the luster bottle (Benaki Museum ΓE 705) and mina’i bowl (Brooklyn Museum 86.227.61) exemplify the developments that took place in the second half of that century. The earthenware mold (MMA 48.101.5a,b) illuminates the manufacturing process, showing how technological advancement and artistic sophistication were incorporated into an industry focused on extensive production.

Stonepaste (also fritware or siliceous ware) is made primarily of finely ground quartz in the form of pebbles or, less frequently, sand, which is then mixed for greater malleability and structure with small amounts of liquefied glass (glass frit or glass fragments) and refined clay. In both the Syrian and the Iranian regions, archaeological evidence has proven that stonepaste was being produced at least by the last quarter of the eleventh century, and most likely earlier, in a number of centers along the Middle Euphrates, in the northwestern Jazira (Qal‘at Ja‘bar; Tell al-Fakhkhar, near Raqqa; and possibly Balis/Maskanah), Khurasan (Nishapur), and Jabal in central Iran (Isfahan).[1] At this time the Great Seljuqs had taken full possession of the Iranian regions and were establishing their authority in Syria—soon to be followed, however, by the fragmentation of their authority and frequent changes in power. Although attempts are sometimes made to link the emergence of the new ceramic technology to specific events, ceramic production developed largely independently of such political changes and represents in part the evolution of established techniques.[2] Scholars have endeavored to locate this technological and artistic growth in the socioeconomic expansion of a new wealthy, mainly mercantile class that would have been the recipients, and rarely the patrons, of these objects.[3] Similar developments occurred in metalwork with the emergence of inlay, hammering, and wheel turning.

The most widely accepted theory on the emergence of stonepaste production is that of its diffusion as a fully developed technology from Egypt, where experimental phases are attested in the tenth and early eleventh centuries and from which it spread to Syria and Iran. This postulation is strongly supported by an identical composition for the stonepaste body and by the recurrence of the same basic shapes and some stylistic motifs.[4] There is undoubtedly a close connection between the earliest stonepaste vessels made in Syria and those made in Iran; they begin to diverge more markedly in technique, decoration, and style over the course of the twelfth century. However, the disparity in availability of archaeological data for the two regions and the even sparser information available for southern Jazira and Iraq preclude a detailed comparison of their manufacture or a comprehensive understanding of how the two regions’ industries interacted, as well as the role of local ceramic traditions.[5] Syria has in recent decades been the focus of more extensive investigation than Iran and has witnessed the publication of a larger number of assemblages with a safe stratigraphic context relevant to the period. Corpora uncovered in Iran, by contrast, remain largely unpublished, or they are unstratified or not chronologically pertinent to the present discussion. These circumstances have resulted in the undervaluation of certain existing divergences between the two regions’ earliest productions.

The diffusionist theory, which also links the spread of stonepaste to that of luster, is based largely on the study of more refined and often intact luster vessels in museum collections (and a few excavated fragments).[6] These objects for the most part mirror the earliest archaeological assemblages, most closely those from the Syrian regions. Yet excavated assemblages often include more variation, including objects more closely linked to localized conditions—that is, related to other local productions, accessible imports, and the particularities of the excavated loci—or of coarser quality, thereby restituting a more nuanced view of the overall circumstances.

Early Syrian assemblages are dominated by (lead-based) monochrome glazes with occasional in-glaze splashes of color; they most often cover an otherwise unadorned surface but sometimes one that is incised and carved, and rarer still a molded motif (laqabi). Luster-painted decoration is equally rare and may or may not have been introduced some time later (see V&A C49-1960). Standard shapes include simple bowls with slightly curving sides and everted flat or simple rims, all displaying a novel and remarkable thinness.[7] This early Syrian group is often labeled “Tell Minis” ware, so called for a famous assemblage—V&A C49-1960 included—said to have been recovered in the eponymous village near Ma‘arrat al-Nu‘man, the study of which established its recognition as distinct from later productions.[8] Yet regional variations in the earliest Syrian productions are starting to be recognized thanks to the diversity of the archaeological findings. Potters experimented early with painting techniques, namely, new applications of in-glaze painting, such as laqabi, and of local underglaze painting traditions now applied to stonepaste. Attesting to this development, which would eventually lead to the establishment of underglaze painting as the most common decorative technique in the region, are the fragments excavated at the Damascus citadel, attributed to the late eleventh century.[9]

Early central Iranian stonepaste corpora share with their Syrian counterparts all the same basic shapes, as well as a similar thinness. However, they also include—as in the case of assemblages from Isfahan and Rayy—a range of inventive shapes, some of which appear to have been inspired by metalwork or Chinese ceramics and porcelains (see MFA 39.429 and V&A C68-1931).[10] They reflect a taste for small vessels, lobed shapes, dimpled walls, and scalloped, lobed, and variably decorated rims; some rest on flower-shaped supports. Small neckless jars with small ring handles are also introduced. A simple palette of monochrome glazes not at all different from that of Syria— colorless, opaque white, turquoise, purple, and blue, sometimes in combination, on the exterior and interior of an object—and a lead-based composition balance the novelty of shapes. No other decoration apart from an occasional splash of a second color or carved scrolls, epigraphic elements, or animal motifs enriches the surface.[11] Some vessels were pierced before glazing, a technique almost nonexistent in Syria,[12] but which would appear with increasing frequency in Iran in the twelfth century (e.g., MMA 68.223.9). At the same time, they share a peculiar obliquely cut foot that is a distinctive trait of the earliest Syrian stonepaste productions and not attested in other wares.[13]

While less information on manufacturing is vailable for Syria, excavations at Isfahan and Nishapur confirm that, in Iran, bowls were fired in saggers.[14] Also, most vessels, including wheel-thrown plain bowls, were produced with molds. The use of molds was likely meant to counter the stiffness of the siliceous compound while increasing the rapidity and number of pieces produced. An elaborate example with musicians and standing figures (Brooklyn Museum 86.227.61) was excavated in a kilns area at Nishapur. The scene may be understood as narrative when considered in relation to a more complete piece excavated at Hauz-khan (between Merv and Sarakhs) depicting the legend of Farhad carrying the body of his beloved Shirin over the river.[15]

No satisfactory explanation has yet been proposed for the broader repertory of shapes observed in central Iranian monochrome stonepaste vessels as compared with those in Syria. If one were to maintain the hypothesis of a common derivation, which convincingly explains the shared technical features beyond those of a shared and interacting visual language, a possible reason could be that production began some decades earlier than the (archaeologically attested) mid-eleventh century, by which time manufacturers had begun to develop their products independently. In the large assemblage from Isfahan, for example, the nearly 3:10 ratio of stonepaste to glazed earthenware (monochrome green and brown, sgraffito, splash, and slip-painted wares) suggests that by the last quarter of the eleventh century, stonepaste was widespread and, despite its novelty, neither expensive nor particularly luxurious, at least in an urban context.[16] Creativity in shapes may have stemmed from a mode already seen in earthenware, in particular sgraffito vessels with decorated rims and opaque-turquoise vessels, which were probably executed in dialogue with imports from China.[17]

In Khurasan stonepaste assemblages, despite sharing with Syria and central Iran the standard repertory of shapes, seem not to include either decorated or lobed rims/bowls, which may indicate that a slightly different development occurred in the region. If confirmed by future excavations, this would strengthen the hypothesis that stonepaste technology and manufacturing disseminated from a common origin, as well as help explain regional differences. A distinct local development has been attested in twelfth-century Afghanistan.[18]

Early Experimentation?
Despite the lack of safely dated evidence for the emergence of stonepaste before the mid-eleventh century, historical texts from as early as the mid-tenth century make reference to the use of siliceous materials in the Iranian territories, though not necessarily for ceramic production. The Risala (Epistle) of Abu Dulaf mentions a technique he encountered during his travels in central Iran (ca. 943–52) that was used to create “Chinese pottery,” though it seems to describe a sort of glass production, possibly opaque:

Chinese pottery is white or some other colour, either translucent or not translucent. It is made in the country of Fars from quartz stone, al-kils al-qal‘i (probably tin oxide), and glass, pounded into a paste and it is inflated and made with fire tongs just as glass is inflated in the making of cups and other vessels.[19]

Neither Abu Dulaf nor Yaqut al-Hamawi, who transmitted this text in the early thirteenth century, may have had the technical understanding to know what was being described (they were geographers, not craftsmen), but the mention of quartz and glass—components used to make stonepaste—and the reference to “Chinese pottery” are noteworthy. If the passage were indeed describing the manufacture of opaque glass, the few existing coeval vessels, in opaque turquoise, could in fact be seen as mimicking “Chinese” objects on account of their often lobed and scalloped shapes.[20] These forms have also been demonstrated to recur in early central Iranian stonepaste. While this correspondence can certainly be explained by a common visual language, the communality extends to the above-mentioned peculiarly shaped foot a technicality that might suggest a shared manufacturing environment.[21]

A second text to mention a siliceous compound is al-Biruni’s Kitab al-jawahir (Book of precious stones), completed before 1048, which again mentions Chinese bowls (al-qisa al-siniyyat): “One may make [Chinese bowls] here from pure marwa (quartz pebbles), described in the chapter on glaze, mixed with clays.” The text goes on to describe how the clay was prepared and the bowls made.[22] Although the omission of glass as an ingredient may preclude the possibility that al-Biruni is describing stonepaste (he does mention glaze, technically similar), he does seem to be witnessing something closer to ceramic production. Similarly, in the late twelfth-century Jawahirnama (Book of precious stones) of Muhammad b. Abu-l-Barakat Jawhari Nishapuri (dated A.H. 592/A.D. 1196), a recipe for Chinese ware also mentions ground quartz.[23] These and other texts confirm the fascination with Chinese pottery, presumably porcelain, that must have been strong in the Iranian regions at the turn of the eleventh century.[24] They also suggest that siliceous ingredients were perceived by literate people—whose knowledge of the described technology is, admittedly, a matter of debate—as components of sophisticated manufactures.

In addition to these passages, and although no trial phases have yet been definitively identified in the earliest stonepaste from Iran or Iraq, experiments using siliceous components in ceramic and brick production were not completely unknown east of Egypt. Some of the earliest (9th century) include a silica-based slip applied to splash and sgraffito wares in Iraq and Iran; the siliceous bricks of the Qasr al-‘Ashiq and the Qubbat al-Sulaybiyya mausoleum in Samarra (probably late 9th century); and, above all, proto-stonepaste bodies developed in Syria and Iraq by adding glass to the clay.[25] There is no direct evidence linking these materials to the emergence of stonepaste, although they demonstrate that the potential of crushed quartz was acknowledged long before a proto-stonepaste was developed in Egypt.[26]

A potentially significant contribution to the discussion lies in a group of earthenware vessels with comparable shapes, dimensions, and thinness, and with a similar taste for elaborate rims and applied decoration as those of the early Iranian stonepaste group. They are covered with an opaque turquoise glaze, which makes their appearance identical to that of turquoise-glazed stonepaste (see fig. 71 in this volume). Fragments were excavated in late eleventh-century layers at Isfahan, together with the earliest stonepaste but in much smaller quantities; in an eleventh- or twelfth-century phase at Istakhr (Estakhr); and at Nishapur, also in small quantities.[27] Further research is needed to understand fully the significance of this ware, which may have been an imitation stonepaste made by craftsmen not yet knowledgeable in the medium, a preexisting production whose repertory of shapes was later adopted by stonepaste manufacturers, or a transitional ware.

The Case of Luster
The increase in number of stonepaste workshops in Syria and Iran from the eleventh to the twelfth century suggests that the technique spread rapidly and was not a prerogative of only a few craftsmen. This may not be the case of an associated technology reintroduced at about the same time, luster painting, in which a mixture containing metallic-oxide pigment is applied to a finished glazed object. During a supplementary firing in a reduced (low-oxygen) atmosphere, the pigment is chemically transformed into an impalpable sheen. This technology may have been known to only a restricted number of workshops.[28] Archaeological data are rarely helpful in identifying luster production centers, since the technique is applied to completed and fired objects and produces hardly any wasters; in fact, almost no information is available for Syria or Iran.[29] With regard to the latter, epigraphic and historical sources and petrographic analyses support the theory that luster was the prerogative of a number of family-run potteries in the central Iranian town of Kashan.[30] The 1196 Jawahirnama implies that Isfahan was also a place of manufacture, but the text remains an isolated piece of evidence.31] As for Syria and Anatolia, petrographic analyses that support centralized luster production have been challenged, at least for the second half of the twelfth century, by a corpus excavated at Gritille, in southern Anatolia, that was likely produced in the region.[32]

The timeline for luster’s emergence is a subject of debate. Some scholars argue that stylistic similarities, especially in Syrian examples, indicate that stonepaste and luster developed in Syria and Iran almost simultaneously and coincident to their diffusion from Egypt.[33] Stratigraphic data suggest that luster was applied to stonepaste very early on; however, it is regularly absent from the earliest excavated assemblages in Syria and Iran to include (predominantly monochrome) stonepaste wares. Finds from eleventh-century contexts at the citadel of Damascus are a unique exception.[34] By the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries, luster-painted stonepaste vessels were being produced in Syria that featured a variety of geometric, vegetal, and figural motifs—including seated figures, harpies, griffins, winged horses, lions, hares, eagles, and other real and fantastic animals—showing an evident link to Egyptian examples. Inscriptions in these early pieces are limited to benedictions or names, written in Arabic in kufic script. The luster, sometimes also scratch-decorated, was generally painted over a white background, either a transparent colorless or opaque white glaze. Opaque turquoise glazes (e.g., V&A C49-1960) were less commonly produced, increasingly so in the later twelfth century.[35]

Archaeologically sound information on the emergence of Iranian luster is scant for the period from the late eleventh to the second half of the twelfth century, and scholars have traditionally relied on pieces inscribed with dates to reconstruct a chronology. The earliest of these, a bottle in the British Museum, London (1920.2-260), dates from A.H. 575/A.D. 1179.36 However, luster fragments have also been found in earlier dating layers in the masjid-i jami’ in Isfahan, Siraf, Rayy, and the Qohandez in Nishapur.[37] No examples have been collected from earlier sites such as Istakhr, Sirjan, or Susa.

The Twelfth Century in Syria
Stonepaste production expanded significantly in the twelfth century, as witnessed by a substantial increase in production centers; advancements in established techniques and the development of new ones, especially underglaze painting; a greater sophistication in decoration; and a more marked stylistic divergence between Syrian and Iranian productions.

In Syria, where the increase in manufactures and in mass production is better documented, the industry exploited a cheaper manufacturing and firing process, the result of which was a coarser, more friable body quite different from the hard, fine, compact nature of the earliest wares, the siliceous bodies of which were partially vitrified during firing. Even luster was executed using a cheaper technique, often resulting in a brown, nonmetallic shine. In the course of this progression, lead-based glaze was gradually substituted by one of alkali-lead. The greater accessibility of these later wares is reflected in their widespread dissemination.[38] Also at this time, true underglaze painting—mostly in black or blue under a colorless or turquoise glaze, but also polychrome—became standard (see cat. 148b and fig. 74 in this volume). In addition to sophisticated objects with designs executed by skilled masters, a repertory of standardized filling motifs was developed and deployed on objects of varied degrees of refinement. Luster, too, began to be applied to underglaze-painted objects (see cat. 48 and fig. 73 in this volume).[39] Monochrome pieces, predominantly molded, continued to appear, most often as small portable elements such as tabourets (see cat. 63 in this volume) and inkwells, as well as human or animal-shaped vessels or figurines. Serving vessels remained the most common productions, although their shapes were largely simplified in comparison with those of the previous century. Exemplary of the period are a bowl with curved walls and an everted rim and another with straight walls and a low carination (also
called a biconical bowl).

In the literature these vessels are referred to as “Raqqa” ware, for the site along the Euphrates River from which many of them came to Western collections in the early twentieth century. Raqqa, however, was but one of several production centers in a region that spanned northern Jazira, Syria, and Egypt. Several of these may also have yielded polychrome underglaze-painted pieces, known as “Rusafa” (or “Resafa”) ware.[40]

These wares testify to shared techniques and visual languages, regardless of political and dynastic powers. At the same time, however, the complex outline of intermediate phases and local features being identified in newly excavated assemblages underscores the independent developments taking place at all these sites, a fact that has been explained as a reflection of the political fragmentation of twelfth-century Syria, as well as its favorable economy. For example, a group detected at Qal‘at Ja‘bar has the same body and shapes of the earliest stonepaste vessels but with an alkali-lead glaze. Also exemplary is a group defined by a repertory of underglaze-painted and reserve-painted medallions, produced at Aleppo but also found in central Syria; and the above-mentioned underglaze-painted wares of unusually early date found at Damascus.[41] In southern Anatolia, at Gritille, a group of calcareous clay vessels (second half of the 12th century) is visually identical to and overlaps with stonepaste production, even including luster; the limited number and uniformity of shapes and glazes (mainly turquoise and manganese) and the high percentage of luster (as seen above) argue for a distinct local production.[42] Finally, the nearby site of Tille Hoyuk delivered the finding of a double-glaze underglaze-painted ware.[43]

The Twelfth Century in Iran
In Iran, the twelfth century, at least from the middle of the century, marked a shift in taste from monochrome vessels of minimal embellishment to richly decorated, colorful objects of larger, more elaborate shape (Benaki Museum ΓE 705; see also cats. 54, 143 in this volume). All these developments speak to the higher expectations of their consumer base. At the same time, serving vessels became more standardized in form, with two basic bowl shapes—low carinated ones similar to their Syrian counterparts, and others with rounded walls—and dishes with everted rims.[44] Such codification attests to industrial-style production, possibly subdivided into specialized phases of manufacture,[45] which would have made these sophisticated wares available to a larger number of consumers.

Of the new decorative techniques introduced in the twelfth century, underglaze painting developed differently in Iran than it did in Syria, building on local slip-painting traditions: analysis of so-called silhouette ware reveals that the black pigment was mixed into a quartz slip. Only later did true underglaze painting (with no slip medium) develop.[46] And although the underglaze technique became common, it does not seem to have had quite the same currency or to have had so wide a reach as Syrian underglaze-painted wares. For this reason, coupled with the favor shown to them by Western collectors when they became requested at the beginning of the twentieth century, the best known and extensively studied Iranian stonepaste wares are luster-painted and mina’i ceramics. Mina’i—the modern term for haft rang (seven-color) in the historical sources—was a novel and distinctive Iranian method of overglaze painting (enameling) that was sometimes paired with gilding, and which may have been transposed from techniques employed on different materials, such as glass enameling.[47]

Both luster and mina’i are associated with the city of Kashan, although Nishapuri’s 1196 treatise (see above) further implies that Isfahan was a second site of luster production in Iran. Both techniques are described in the most important medieval text on Iranian stonepaste, written by Abu-l-Qasim in the early fourteenth century, when mina’i had already been discontinued. The text also contains an unprecedented and accurate description of stonepaste technology.

Abu-l-Qasim was uniquely qualified to write such a tome, for his family had made ceramics in Kashan for generations and continued with his brother. Other family-run potteries in the city can be identified by inscriptions on their creations.[48] MMA 68.223.9, for instance, is inscribed with the name Hasan al-Qashani, the latter portion a nisba linking the potter to Kashan (it appears variably as “Kashani”).[49] Kashan was undoubtedly a major center for most technologies related to stonepaste and, despite the above-mentioned evidence to the contrary, is largely believed to have had a virtual monopoly on more sophisticated ceramics such as lusterware. Stonepaste, however, was produced throughout Iran: a dearth of archaeological evidence, such as excavations of workshops and kilns, has not prevented petrographic analyses from identifying at least nine petrofabric groupings, presumably of diverse origin.[50] (Rayy was the only site from which a waster was available for investigation.)

A chronological progression of lusterware and mina’i is widely accepted, as reflected by styles of decoration and, less prominently, shapes of objects. Once again, the incomplete archaeological record prompted scholars to turn to dated inscriptions. It is generally accepted that the earliest examples, none of which is dated, are reserve-painted against a luster background and iconographically similar to the Syrian pieces. Large figures, often seated, with moonlike faces predominate and, in a hallmark of this so-called monumental style, usually occupy most of the surface. Further classifications include the sketchier miniature style, seen in both luster and mina’i, characterized by small figures set in a spare or artificially ornate garden background (typical of this mode are checkerboard cypresses). The later “Kashan” style, which is attested from the end of the twelfth through the first two decades of the thirteenth century, merges elements of both the monumental and the miniature into dense, sophisticated compositions whose complex iconography includes narrative scenes, mystical themes, and, most notably, extensive inscriptions, predominantly Persian poetry written in cursive script, which add complexity to the semantic value of the depicted images.[51]

The number of stylistic features shared by the otherwise distinct Iranian and Syrian stonepaste of the twelfth century—for instance, the dotted branches on both Iranian mina’i and Syrian polychrome underglaze-painted wares; the moonlike faces of figures; the ubiquitous biconical bowl—exemplifies how a common visual language was adapted to and inflected by local techniques and traditions. At the same time, as the archaeological evidence from Syria has prompted the amendation of the previously accepted timeline of production in that region, the need for an archaeologically controlled reevaluation of the chronology of stonepaste manufacture in Iran becomes all the more acute.

Martina Rugiadi in [Canby, Beyazit, and Rugiadi 2016]


1. For Syria, see Tonghini, Cristina. Qal‘at Ja‘bar Pottery: A Study of a Syrian Fortified Site of the Late 11th–14th Centuries. British Academy Monographs in Archaeology, 11. 1995. Oxford and New York, 1998, pp. 40–42, pls. 41, 42; Henderson, Julian. “Archaeological Investigations of an Islamic Industrial Complex at Raqqa, Syria.” Damaszener Mitteilungen 11 (1999), pp. 262–64; and McPhillips, S[tephen] A. “Continuity and Innovation in Syrian Artisanal Traditions of the 9th to the 13th Centuries: The Ceramic Evidence from the Syrian-French
Citadel of Damascus Excavations.” Bulletin d’études orientales 61 (2012), pp. 455–56, with discussion of previous references. For Iran see
Rugiadi, Martina. Decorazione architettonica in marmo da Gaznı (Afghanistan). 2007. Bologna, 2012, pp. 235–38, with discussion of previous references; see also the mention of stonepaste in a mid-eleventh-century layer excavated in the citadel at Rayy in S[chmidt], E[rich F]. “The Persian Expedition.” University Museum Bulletin (Philadelphia), no. 5 (1935), pp. 48–49, pl. 6, far right, and pp. 134–35, pls. 1, 3; for recent data from Nishapur and their complicated reading, see Rante, Rocco, and Annabelle Collinet. Nishapur Revisited: Stratigraphy and Ceramics of the Qohandez. Oxford and Oakville, 2013, pp. 145, 152, 155, 205–6. Imported vessels found in Italy antedate to the mid-eleventh century the beginning of stonepaste production; see Tonghini, Cristina. “Ceramiche invetriate dell’Egitto e della Siria nei secoli XI e XII: Stato degli studi e sviluppi della ricerca.” In Décor de lustre métallique et ceramique glaçurée: Centro universitario europeo per i beni culturali, Ravello [proceedings of a conference held October 11–12, 1998], edited by Max Schvoerer, Claude Ney, and Paolo Peduto,.Bari, 2005, p. 22, and Saccardo, Francesca. Ritrovare restaurando: Rinvenimenti e scoperte a Venezia e in laguna. Venice, 2000, pp. 53–55, nos. 57–58, for new data relevant to the chronology.A useful discussion on the terminology of stonepaste is provided in Tonghini 1998 (see above), pp. 38, 119 n. 197.

2. Traditionally, scholars have linked the fall of the Fatimids and the 1176 fire of Fustat to the sudden eastward migration of stonepaste producers, but evidence of the material’s production at least a century earlier in both Syria and Iran dismisses this connection.

3. See Tonghini 1998 (note 1), pp. 42, 50–51; Mason, Robert B. J. Shine Like the Sun: Lustre-Painted and Associated Pottery from the Medieval Middle East. Bibliotheca Iranica, Islamic Art and Architecture Series, 12. Costa Mesa, 2004, pp. 162–64.

4. Mason 2004 (note 3), pp. 69–71, 73–74, 78–79 (for Egypt); 94–109, 123–31, 144 (for Syria and Iran); 170–72. For contrasting readings of the experimental phases in Egypt, see Watson, Oliver. Ceramics from Islamic Lands. The al-Sabah Collection, Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, Kuwait National Museum. London, 2004, pp. 285–86, and Mason 2004 (note 3), pp. 78–79.

5. Porter, Yves. “Lustres fatimides et potiers de Kâshân: Historiographie et obscurs transferts.” Mitteilungsblatt der Keramik-Freunde der Schweiz 129 (2015), p. 18, calls for a more nuanced explanation of the diffusionist theory for Iran (still, he relies on the traditional chronology). Wilkinson, Charles K. Nishapur: Pottery of the Early Islamic Period. New York, [1973], p. 263, with previous references, mentions a “related ware with a soft white body . . . apparently covered with an alkaline glaze” produced in the tenth and eleventh centuries at Dvin and Ani in Armenia.

6. Mason 2004 (note 3).

7. Small bowls and cups, as well as jugs and pots, are also attested; see Tonghini 1998 (note 1), p. 39, and figs. 33a, 42–52; McPhillips 2012 (note 1), figs. 4.2, 4.7; and Porter, Venetia, and Oliver Watson. “‘Tell Minis’ Wares.” In Syria and Iran: Three Studies in Medieval Ceramics, edited by James [W.] Allan and Caroline Roberts, pp. 175–248. Oxford Studies in Islamic Art, 4. Oxford, 1987, nos. A13, 29, 54, 56–57; B2, 5, 8–8a, 19, 141; C8, 17–20.

8. The assemblage, however, does not provide evidence of manufacture at Tell Minis; see Porter, V., and Watson 1987 (note 7), pp. 175–78. (The Bartels Gift, a related assemblage in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, also said to be from Tell Minis, includes wasters, but they belong to later productions; see ibid., p. 199, and Mason 2004 (note 3), pp. 107, 206–7, for analyses). An early stonepaste group was already distinguished from later productions at Antioch and Hama, see Waagé, Frederick O. Antioch-on-the-Orontes. Vol. 4, pt. 1, Ceramics and Coins. Princeton, N.J., 1948. and Riis, P. J., and Vagn Poulsen. Hama: Fouilles et recherches, 1931–1938. Vol. 4, pt. 2, Les verreries et poteries médiévales. Fondation Carlsberg, Nationalmuseets Skrifter. Copenhagen, 1957, pp. 132–36.

9. For Damascus, see McPhillips 2012 (note 1), pp. 456–57, figs. 6.1–6.3. A kiln that produced laqabi ware is said to have been excavated at Raqqa; see Milwright, Marcus. “Ceramics from the Recent Excavations near the Eastern Wall of Rafiqa (Raqqa), Syria.” Levant 37 (2005), p. 211.

10. In the mid-twentieth century, V&A C68-1931 was thought to be Chinese and displayed as such in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; see The Arts of Islam. Exh. cat., Hayward Gallery, London, 1976. Catalogue by Basil Gray and others. London, 1976, p. 240, no. 332.

11. For Isfahan, see Rugiadi 2011 (note 1), table 1, figs. 3, 4 (data related to 1,867 stonepaste fragments). For Rayy, the material excavated by Charles Vignier (1910s), Erich Schmidt (1930s), and Chahryar Adle (1970s) is largely unpublished; Schmidt’s ceramics were viewed by this author at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia; the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the storage in Persepolis (more fragments reside in the National Museum of Iran, Tehran). My thanks to Renata Holod, Donald Whitcomb, Laura Weinstein, and ‘Ali Asadi. See also two fragments, excavated in 2006–7, in Rante, Rocco. Rayy: From Its Origins to the Mongol Invasion. Art and Archaeology of the Islamic World, 4. Leiden and Boston, 2015, p. 115, figs. 95.17, 96.8. For the composition of glazes, see Rante, Rocco, and Annabelle Collinet. Nishapur Revisited: Stratigraphy and Ceramics of the Qohandez. Oxford and Oakville, 2013, p. 135. The neckless jars are close to coeval green- or brownglazed earthenware vessels; for variations in both the body and the foot, see Rugiadi, Martina. “Processing Iranian Glazed Pottery of the Masjid-i Jum‘a in Isfahan (adamji Project): Fritwares from the Foundations of Nizam al-Mulk’s Domed Hall.” In Matthiae, Paolo, Frances Pinnock, Lorenzo Nigro, and Nicolò Marchetti, eds. Proceedings of the 6th International Congress of the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, 5 May–10 May 2009 [sic; 2008], “Sapienza,” Università di Roma. Vol. 3, Islamic Session, Posters Session. 6 ICAANE. Wiesbaden, 2010, pp. 173–90, figs. 4–9, with caption.

12. Minor, isolated exceptions were found at the Damascus citadel and at Shayzar (Stephen McPhillips and Valentina Vezzoli, personal communication).

13. For the obliquely cut foot in Syria, see Porter, V., and Watson 1987 (note 7), p. 181, and Tonghini 1998 (note 1), p. 42; in Iran, see
Rugiadi 2010 (note 11), p. 179, fig. 4: III B6. For one exception in earthenware (in Iran) and in glass, see below.

14. See Wilkinson 1973 (note 5), pp. 262, 276, 288, nos. 74–76; and Rugiadi 2011 (note 1), p. 235. Saggers were found at Tell Fakhkhar, Raqqa, but it is unclear if they were employed for the sgraffito or the stonepaste wares, both produced at the site in the eleventh century (Henderson, Julian, and Cristina Tonghini. “An Eleventh-Century Pottery Production Workshop at Al-Raqqa’: Preliminary Report.” Levant 30 [1998], pp. 113–27, fig. 4e, pp. 119, 123).

15. Wilkinson 1973 (note 5), pp. 272–73, 284, no. 57a, with previous bibliography. The scene, first identified by Glavira Shepelova, was narrated in both Firdawsi’s Shahnama and Nizami’s Khamsa (A.H. 571/A.D. 1175–76).

16. This ratio pertains to the 1,867 stonepaste fragments from the Seljuq-period levels. In the lowermost levels of their appearance, the ratio is larger, almost 4:10 (639 stonepaste fragments); see Rugiadi 2010 (note 11), p. 178. The possible presence of a nearby stonepaste workshop (attested by wasters and kiln furniture) may have had an impact on these numbers; see Rugiadi 2011 (note 1), pp. 233–35. At the Qohandez in Nishapur, the earliest levels in which stonepaste appears, attributed to up to the early eleventh century, have a 0.22:10 ratio of stonepaste to glazed earthenware (period IIIa, 5 fragments); see Rante and Collinet 2013 (note 11), p. 152, fig. 98/31.

17. The link between early Iranian stonepaste and Chinese Song wares was recognized by Arthur Lane (“Sung Wares and the Seljuq Pottery of Persia.” Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society 22 (1946–47), pp. 21–29). Chinese ceramic imports mostly followed the sea route, as attested by the known assemblages; for the Siraf port, see Tampoe, Moira. Maritime Trade between China and the West: An Archaeological Study of the Ceramics from Siraf (Persian Gulf), 8th to 15th Centuries A.D. B.A.R. International Series, 555. Oxford, 1989, pp. 47–68 (chronology reviewed in Priestman, Seth M. N. “Opaque Glazed Wares: Definition, Dating and Distribution of a Key Iraqi Ceramic Export in the Abbasid Period.” Iran 49 (2011), pp. 105–6); for Nishapur, see Wilkinson 1973 (note 5), pp. 254–58. Rougeulle, A. “Les importations de céramiques chinoises dans le Golfe arabo-persique (VIIIe–IXe siècles).” Archéologie islamique 2 (1991), pp. 25–32, 39–44.

18. For Nishapur, see Wilkinson 1973 (note 5), pp. 263ff.; Rante and Collinet 2013 (note 1), p. 171, figs. 98/31, 92, 103, 104 (Qohandez); and Collinet, Annabelle. “Nouvelles recherches sur la céramique de Nishapur: La prospection du Shahrestan.” In Greater Khorasan: History, Geography, Archaeology and Material Culture, edited by Rocco Rante, pp. 125–40. Boston, 2015. (material from surveys). The assemblage from Lashkari Bazar is close (although there is mention of one crenellated rim), and it differs from the distinct Afghan stonepaste productions of the twelfth century (Gardin, Jean-Claude. Les trouvailles, céramiques et monnaies de Lashkari Bazar et de Bust. Mémoires de la Délégation Archéologique Française en Afghanistan, 18. Paris, 1963, pp. 126–31, pl. 28/531–39; Fusaro, Agnese. “The Ceramic Corpus of Ghazni: New Research Study and Preliminary Results.” In New Data for the History of Ghazni in Afghanistan, edited by Michele Bernardini, Roberta Giunta, and Martina Rugiadi. Turnhout, forthcoming, with earlier references).

19. Quoted in Allan, James W., L. R. Llewellyn, and F. Schweizer. “The History of So-called Egyptian Faience in Islamic Persia: Investigation into Abu’l Qasim’s Treatise.” Archeometry 15, no. 2 (1973), p. 172.

20. For more on opaque glass and on glass imitating precious materials, see cat. 55 in this volume, with accompanying references. Allan, Llewellyn, and Schweizer 1973 (note 19), p. 172, proposes that Abu Dulaf’s passage refers to an opaque white glass made in imitation of Chinese porcelain; Morgan, Peter. “Iranian Stone-Paste Pottery of the Saljuq Period: Types and Techniques.” In Grube, Ernst J., et al. Cobalt and Lustre: The First Centuries of Islamic Pottery. The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, edited by Julian Raby, vol. 9. Oxford and New York, 1994, pp. 155–56 and n. 9, suggests instead a link to opaque white glazes. For a rebuttal, see Mason, Robert B. J. “Mediaeval Iranian Lustre-Painted and Associated Wares: Typology in a Multidisciplinary Study.” Iran 35 (1997), p. 130 n. 2.

21. Abu Dulaf’s mention of tin/tin oxide (if the interpretation is correct) is noteworthy. Chemical analysis of cat. 55 in this volume revealed a soda-lime-silica glass made with plant ash but no tin oxide; see Whitehouse, David. Islamic Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass. Vol. 1. Corning, N.Y., 2010, p. 51 n. 67.

22. Allan, James W., L. R. Llewellyn, and F. Schweizer. “The History of So-called Egyptian Faience in Islamic Persia: Investigation into Abu’l Qasim’s Treatise.” Archaeometry 15, no. 2 (1973), pp. 171–72. For discussion of the entire passage and previous references, see also Morgan 1994 (note 20), pp. 156, 169 n. 12.

23. See Porter, Yves. “Le quatrième chapitre du Javaherna me-ye Ne ami.” In Sciences, techniques et instruments dans le monde iranien (Xe–XIXe siècle), edited by Nasr Allah Pourjavady and Ziva Vesel, pp. 356–58. Tehran, 2004. (translated as “porcelaine,” ibid., p. 356).

24. Carswell, John. “Cını.” In Encyclopaedia Iranica 1982– , vol. 5 (1991), p. 591, cites a famous statement by al-Tha‘alibi (d. 1038): “The Arabs used to call any delicately or curiously-made vessel and such like, whatever its real origin, ‘Chinese,’ because finely made things are a speciality of China.” Both al-Tha‘alibi and al-Biruni describe in detail the features of three specific types of Chinese porcelain (apricot, cream, and mottled); see Lane, Arthur. Later Islamic Pottery: Persia, Syria, Egypt, Turkey. London, 1957, p. 31. That kaolin was a necessary ingredient to obtain true porcelain was not known outside China, although it was available in Iran and used for other purposes, such as in a quartz-based white slip in Nishapur; see Basso Elena. “The Sgraffito Ware from Nishapur (Iran): Reconstructing the Materials and Technology through a Multi-methodological Study.” In preparation.

25. For silica-based slip in Iraq, see Mason 2004 (note 3), pp. 31, 36–37; for Iran (Nishapur), see Basso in preparation (note 24). A similar occurrence has been observed at Isfahan by the author. For the silica- based bricks, see Leisten, Thomas. Excavation of Samarra. Vol. 1, Architecture: Final Report of the First Campaign 1910–1912. Mainz am Rhein, 2003, pp. 72–74, with previous references. For proto-stonepaste, see Mason 2004 (note 3), p. 32.

26. See Mason 2004 (note 3), pp. 171–72. Earlier hypotheses on the development of stonepaste technology in Iran (discussed in ibid. and Allan, Llewellyn, and Schweizer 1973 [note 19]) considered a possible link to the manufacture of faience beads.

27. For Isfahan, see Rugiadi 2011 (note 1), p. 234; for Istakhr, see Chegini, Nasser Noruz Zadeh, Maria Vittoria Fontana, Ali Asadi, Martina Rugiadi, Alessandro Maria Jaia, Alessandro Blanco, Laura Ebanista, and Valentina Cipollari. “Estakhr Project: Second Preliminary Report of the Joint Mission of the Iranian Center for Archaeological Research, the Parsa-Pasargadae Research Foundation and the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.” Vicino Oriente 17 (2013), p. 12, figs. 10:C, D; and for Nishapur, Wilkinson 1973 (note 5), pp. 268, 281, no. 26 (the fragments were discarded). Two unpublished examples, from Sabz Pushan (38.40.243) and Village Tepe (38.40.244), are in the Metropolitan Museum.

28. Luster was first rediscovered on ceramics in ninth-century Iraq; the technique most likely made its way to Egypt in the tenth century, from which it probably spread westward.

29. See, however, an assemblage of defective luster fragments of unknown provenance in the National Museum of Iran, Tehran, which Watson, Oliver. “Lustre Wasters: Attribution, Provenance and Art Historical Politics.” In Baker, Patricia L., and Barbara Brend, eds. Sifting Sands, Reading Signs: Studies in Honour of Professor Géza Fehérvári. 2006, pp. 231–49 suggests may derive from excavations in Kashan; see also wasters excavated at Merv mentioned in Gascoigne, Alison L., and Rebecca Bridgman “Pottery from Jam: A Mediaeval Ceramic Corpus from Afghanistan.” Iran 48 (2010), p. 118.

30. Watson, Oliver. Persian Lustre Ware. The Faber Monographs on Pottery and Porcelain. London and Boston, 1985, pp. 37–44; Mason 2004 (note 3), p. 142; Blair, Sheila S. “A Brief Biography of Abu Zayd.” Muqarnas 25 [Frontiers of Islamic Art and Architecture: Essays in Celebration of Oleg Grabar’s Eightieth Birthday, edited by Gülru Necipog˘lu and Julia Bailey] (2008), p. 160.

31. Porter, Y., 2004 (note 23), pp. 345, 352. See note 28 above for a luster waster from Merv.

32. Redford, Scott, and M. James Blackman. “Luster and Fritware Production and Distribution in Medieval Syria.” Journal of Field Archaeology 24, no. 2 (Summer 1997), pp. 234–46. The nearby site of Tille Höyük also yielded a luster second/waster, tentatively attributed to Samsat, near Gritille, for which see Moore, John. Tille Höyük 1: The Medieval Period. British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara, Monograph 14. Oxford, 1993, p. 74, figs. 51.301, 53.357.

33. See, for instance, Mason 2004 (note 3), p. 129, according to which the Iranian examples follow the forms of luster with little variation. Other scholars, relying on pieces with an inscribed date, support the hypothesis that luster arrived in Iran only in the second half of the twelfth century; see, most recently, Porter, Y., 2004 (note 23).

34. McPhillips 2012 (note 1), p. 456. For other sites in Syria and Iran, see Tonghini 1998 (note 1), pp. 41–42; Rugiadi 2010 (note 11); Rante and Collinet 2013 (note 1) , pp. 152, 171. In recent excavations at Rayy, the context in which two luster fragments were found was, for this reason, postdated to the twelfth century; see Rante 2015 (note 11), p. 115, fig. 96.8. For an early appearance of luster, see the finds at Tille
Höyük (Moore 1993 [note 32], pp. 72–73, 197, figs. 51.302, 52.350; revised chronology in Mason 2004 [note 3], p. 233).

35. Luster on light cobalt-blue and purple glazes is also known in Syria. See Porter, V., and Watson 1987 (note 7); Tonghini 1998 (note 1), pp. 39, 44; Mason 2004 (note 3), pp. 96–97, 114.

36. See also a bowl, formerly in the Harvey B. Plotnick Collection, Chicago, dated A.H. 575/A.D. 1179–80 in Pancaroglu, Oya. Perpetual Glory: Medieval Islamic Ceramics from the Harvey B. Plotnick Collection. Chicago, 2007, pp. 136–37, no. 89.

37. For a discussion on the Isfahan material, dating before the last quarter of the eleventh century, see Rugiadi 2011 (note 1), pp. 238–42. For Siraf, the chronology of which is revised in Priestman, Seth M. N. “A Quantitative Archaeological Analyses of Ceramic Exchange in the Persian Gulf and Western Indian Ocean, AD c. 400–1275.” Ph.D. diss., University of Southampton, 2013, pp. 28, 347–49, 359–61, the context is attributed to the eleventh to thirteenth century; see Tampoe, Moira. Maritime Trade between China and the West: An Archaeological Study of the Ceramics from Siraf (Persian Gulf), 8th to 15th Centuries A.D. B.A.R. International Series, 555. Oxford, 1989, pp. 37, 80, fig. 60, nos. 1137–44. For Rayy, see note 34 above. One or two luster fragments from the Qohandez come from a context ranging from the beginning of the eleventh century through 1165; analysis of one of these revealed cobalt blue, transparent alkaline glaze, and no lead (Rante and Collinet 2013 [note 1], pp. 132, 155, 171). Other luster fragments from Nishapur were brought to light during the excavations of the 1930s and 1940s but never published: five fragments of monumental, miniature, and “Kashan”-style luster are kept in storage in the Department of Islamic Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (unaccessioned).

38. Tonghini 1998 (note 1), pp. 43, 46, 48–51, with previous references, Mason 2004 (note 4), pp. 176–77, McPhillips 2012 (note 1), pp. 456–58. For luster technology, see Pradell, T., J. Molera, A. D. Smith, and M. S. Tite. “Early Islamic Lustre from Egypt, Syria and Iran (10th to 13th Century AD).” Journal of Archaeological Science 35, no. 9 (September 2008), pp. 2655–57, 2660–61.

39. Tonghini 1998 (note 1), p. 47, with previous references; McPhillips, S[tephen] A. “Twelfth Century Pottery from the Citadel of Damascus.” In Études et travaux à la Citadelle de Damas: 2000–2001; un premier bilan, edited by Sophie Berthier and Edmond El-Ajji, Bulletin d’études orientales 53–54 (2002), supplement, pp. 143–45.

40. Excavations at Rafiqa (Raqqa) yielded several types of wasters: underglaze-painted stonepaste (black under turquoise and black under colorless), possibly polychrome-painted, and monochrome-glazed. See Porter, Venetia. “Glazed Pottery from the Great Mosque at ar-Rafiqa.” In Raqqa III: Baudenkmäler und Paläste I, edited by Verena Daiber and Andrea Becker. Deutsches Archäologisches Institut. Mainz am Rhein, 2004, pp. 41, 43 and n. 21; and Milwright, Marcus. “Ceramics from the Recent Excavations near the Eastern Wall of Rafiqa (Raqqa), Syria.” Levant 37 (2005), pp. 210–16, figs. 9, 10, with previous references. For more production centers and the problematic issue of “Raqqa ware” from Fustat, see Tonghini 1998 (note 1), pp. 50–51; Mason 2004 (note 3), pp. 103–8, 201–2; and Dylan T. Smith in Jenkins-Madina, Marilyn. Raqqa Revisited: Ceramics of Ayyubid Syria. New York, 2006, appendix 2, pp. 230–35.

41. Tonghini 1998 (note 1), pp. 46, 50; Gonnella, Julia. “Eine neue zangidisch-aiyubidische Keramik Gruppe aus Aleppo.” Damaszener Mitteilungen 11 (1999), pp. 167–68, pl. 26; Rugiadi, Martina. “La ceramica di qal‘at Homs: Vasellame di lusso e di uso comune, il contesto storico e le funzioni della cittadella islamica.” In Fontana, Maria Vittoria, and Bruno Genito, eds. Studi in onore di Umberto Scerrato per il suo settantacinquesimo compleanno. 2 vols. Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale,” Dipartimento di Studi Asiatici, Istituto Italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente, Series minor, 65. Naples, 2003, vol. 2, pp. 701–19, pl. 115, table CXVa; McPhillips 2012 (note 1), pp. 455–58.

42. Blackman, M. James, and Scott Redford. “Glazed Calcareous Clay Ceramics from Gritille, Turkey.” Muqarnas 11 (1994), pp. 31–34; Redford, Scott, and M. James Blackman. “Luster and Fritware Production and Distribution in Medieval Syria.” Journal of Field Archaeology 24, no. 2 (Summer 1997), pp. 233–47.

43. Moore 1993 (note 32), pp. 72–73, no. 346, pl. 8.b; he compares this object with Antioch’s finds in Waagé, Frederick O. Antioch-on-the-Orontes. Vol. 4, pt. 1, Ceramics and Coins. Princeton, N.J., 1948, p. 92.

44. Mason 2004 (note 3), figs. 6.6–6.9, 6.11.

45. This suggestion is based on an assemblage of luster wasters in the National Museum of Iran, Tehran; see Watson 2006 (note 29), p. 244.

46. Mason 2004 (note 3), pp. 132–36.

47. As suggested in ibid., p. 178. For the term mina’i, see Pancaroglu 2007 (note 36), p. 38, with previous references. For analyses of mina’i techniques, see Koss, Kerith, Blythe McCarthy, Ellen Salzman Chase, and Dylan Smith. “Analysis of Persian Painted Minai Ware.” In Scientific Research on Historic Asian Ceramics: Proceedings of the Fourth Forbes Symposium at the Freer Gallery of Art, London, 2009, edited by Blythe McCarthy, pp. 33–47. London, 2009.

48. For an updated bibliography, see Graves, Margaret S. “Kashan. vii. Kashan Ware.” In Encyclopaedia Iranica Online 1996–(2014); http://www.iranicaonline .org/articles/kashan-vii-kashan-ware. and Ghouchani, Abdullah. Ahadith-i Kashihay-i Zarrinfam Haram-i Imam Reza. Mashhad, forthcoming. Blair 2008 (note 30), pp. 169–72, provides a list of works by Abu Zayd.

49. Reading of the inscription in MMA 68.223.9 by Abdullah Ghouchani. A similar bowl is in the Jubelparkmuseum, Koninklijke Musea voor Kunst en Geschiedenis, Brussels (IS.6041); see Van Raemdonck, Mieke, et al. En harmonie: Art du monde islamique au Musée du Cinquantenaire. Tielt, 2015. Issued in Dutch as In harmonie: Kunst uit de islamitische wereld in het Jubelparkmuseum, p. 86, no. II.1, with previous references to other comparable examples.

50. The nine groupings include post-Mongol wares (Mason 2004 [note 3], pp. 140–43). For kilns excavated at Malekabad in Kashan, see Bahramı, Mehdı. “Contribution à l’étude de la céramique musulmane de l’Iran.”Athar-é Iran 3 (1938), pp. 225–29, figs. 141–43.

51. This classification was proposed by Watson 1985 (note 30); see also Graves 2014 (note 48), with further references. An internal chronology of mina’i objects is proposed in Holod, Renata. “Event and Memory: The Freer Gallery’s Siege Scene Plate.” Ars Orientalis 42 (2012), p. 210.
Inscription: The word السعادة الـ written in Naskhi script.

1947, excavated at kilns in Nishapur, Iran by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's expedition; 1948, acquired by the Museum in the division of finds

Paris. Musée du Louvre. "Louvre Long Term Loan," April 28, 2004–April 27, 2006, no catalogue.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Court and Cosmos: The Great Age of the Seljuqs," April 25, 2016–July 24, 2016, no. 108c.

Wilkinson, Charles K. "The Kilns of Nishapur." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, old series, vol. 17 (May 1959). p. 239, ill. p. 239 (b/w).

Wilkinson, Charles K. Nishapur: Pottery of the Early Islamic Period. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1973. no. 57a, ch. 11, pp. 272-273, 284, ill. p. 284 (b/w).

Canby, Sheila R., Deniz Beyazit, and Martina Rugiadi. "The Great Age of the Seljuqs." In Court and Cosmos. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2016. no. 108i, pp. 179-187, ill. p. 184 (color).

Related Objects

Pottery Mold

Date: 12th century Medium: Earthenware; modeled and incised Accession: 39.40.39a On view in:Gallery 453

Lantern for a Lamp

Date: 9th–10th century Medium: Earthenware; carved decoration, unglazed Accession: 39.40.87 On view in:Gallery 453

Animal-Spouted Pitcher

Date: 9th–10th century Medium: Earthenware; polychrome decoration under transparent glaze (buff ware) Accession: 38.40.247 On view in:Gallery 452

Bowl with Green, Yellow, and Brown Splashed Decoration

Date: 10th century Medium: Earthenware; white slip, incised and splashed with polychrome glazes under transparent glaze (sgraffito ware) Accession: 38.40.137 On view in:Gallery 452

Bowl with Arabic Inscription

Date: 10th century Medium: Earthenware; white slip with black-slip decoration under transparent glaze Accession: 65.106.2 On view in:Gallery 450