Fritware bowl, painted in black and blue under a transparent glaze
Iran, Kashan; beginning of 13th century
H: 10; Diam: 21 cm
At the same time as white fritware was being developed in the Middle East in the course of the 12th century, true underglaze painting was also discovered. A piece that was dried in the open air or fired once was painted directly in blue or a few other colors. Cobalt blue could have a tendency to run into the glaze during firing and was consequently contoured at times with black, which was more stable.
Porcelain with decorations painted under the glaze was the most important Chinese export to the Middle East and then to Europe for several centuries from around 1325. But the technique had been discovered in Iran, which also had the monopoly on cobalt mining for quite some time.
Inv. no. Isl 26
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Kjeld von Folsach, Torben Lundbæk and Peder Mortensen (eds.): Sultan, Shah and Great Mughal: the history and culture of the Islamic world, The National Museum, Copenhagen 1996, cat.no. 295;
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