Arts of the Islamic World and India

Arts of the Islamic World and India

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 64. A Kashan turquoise-glazed silhouette-ware jug, Persia, 12th/13th century.

A Kashan turquoise-glazed silhouette-ware jug, Persia, 12th/13th century

Auction Closed

April 24, 03:45 PM GMT


10,000 - 15,000 GBP

Lot Details


the fritware body of baluster form with narrow foot, straight cylindrical neck, and attached strap handle, decorated in black slip with a turquoise glaze, the body with an inscription-like floral decoration, with geometric motifs below and a hatched pattern on rim

17cm. height

Please note that there may be restrictions on the import of property of Iranian origin into the USA and some or all member countries of the Gulf Co-operation Council. Any buyers planning to import property of Iranian origin into any of these countries should satisfy themselves of the relevant import regime. Sotheby's will not assist buyers with the shipment of such items into the USA or the GCC. In addition, FedEx and US courier services will no longer carry Iranian-origin goods to any location. Any shipment services would need to be provided by a Fine Art shipping company.

Silhouette-wares appear to be the earliest stone-paste Persian ceramics with underglaze decoration. The technique involved covering the vessel in a black slip that would be carved away to reveal the white body beneath, its impact related to the stark contrast of the bold motifs with little detailing against the light ground (Grube 1994, p.151). Like the present example, the body would sometimes then be covered in a transparent turquoise glaze. Experimentations in the technique of silhouette-ware are understood to have led to the fully flourished tradition of underglaze painting around 1200 which was key for the Seljuqs to achieve their full pictorial ambitions in pottery (Watson 1978, Watson 2004, p.333, and Grube 1994, p.155-6).

The decorative frieze around the body of the jug is closely comparable to an example in the Sarikhani collection, see Watson 2020, p.293, no.146). The pseudo-calligraphic floral band that also features on the present lot is thought to contain the word ‘al-durr’ (achievement).