Tareq Rajab Museum

Kuwait           

Coloured monochrome-glazed ware

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    Coloured monochrome-glazed wares form one of the largest groups amongst the glazed wares. There are 422 pieces registered in the Museum. One of the earliest objects among them is a two-handled jar, coated with a green glaze and decorated with robe design around the edge of its shoulder (CER0003TSR). It is very similar to those jar which were excavated at Dura Europos in Syria and dated to the late Parthian or early Sasanian period, i.e. 3rd century AD. Another early piece is a bottle, coated with an alkaline turquoise-blue glaze (CER1692TSR). A very similar vessel is in the Archaeological Museum in Tehran, dated to the late Sasanian period. A large jar with a similar glaze and applique decoration, is provided with eleven handles (CER1527TSR) may be dated to the late Sasanian or early Islamic period. A small green glazed pilgrim-flask with moulded decoration (CER0009TSR) comes very close to a vessel which was excavated at Tarsus in southeastern Turkey and dated to the Umayyad period. Nevertheless the majority of the coloured monochrome-glazed wares in the collection date from the 12th and 13th centuries.

    It was most likely during the 11th century that instead of the earthenware a new composite white material was introduced. Whether this new body material was first used in Egypt or in Iran, is still not known. However, a cobalt-blue glazed bowl with a finely executed incised decoration (CER1780TSR) was most likely made in Egypt during the late Fatimid or early Ayyubid period. Several similarly decorated examples were found in Egypt and are preserved in the Islamic Art Museum in Cairo and in the Benaki Museum, Athens. But this new composite white fritware, with coloured monochrome glaze became more popular in Iran and the Tareq Rajab Museum possesses several such vessels. Among them is a large dish decorated with a palmette scroll(CER0273TSR) and an incense-burner (CER0291TSR), both coated with a turquoise-blue alkaline glaze. A large, cobalt-blue glazed ewer depicts dancers on the body and an epigraphic band on its shulder (CER1588TSR). A hexagonal table (CER1066TSR) with moulded and openwork decoration, coated with a cobalt-blue glaze comes from Syria and may be dated to the 13th century AD. A rectangular tile, bearing the date of 684AH/AD1285 originates from Ilkhanid Iran (CER1751TSR).
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