Mina'i Pottery Bowl with Castle,
Kashan, Persia, 12th-13th century.
Seljuk or Shahdom of Khwarizm.

A fine Kashan Minai pottery bowl, Persia, 12th-13th century of deep rounded form on a short foot and with a slightly everted rim, decorated in underglaze and overglaze cobalt blue, turquoise, red and shades of tea rose, outlined in black, with a central scene depicting a horse-rider bowing before a female figure standing atop a stylised tower, surrounded by human and animal figures and adorned with curving floral motifs, enclosed by a calligraphic band in kufic script, the rim with a geometric design, the exterior with a framed cursive inscription. 21.6cm. diam.

NOTE: inscriptions

Round the inner rim in Kufic, repetition of possibly wa al-d[awla] 'And Wealth'

Round the outer rim in cursive, repetition of possibly al-'izz 'Glory'.

The advent of overglaze enamelled decoration in the late-twelfth century saw a transformation of the traditionally limited ceramic colour palette. Where once the range was restricted, potters began to apply enamels in black, red, blues, greens and purples. As a result the artist could produce detailed narrative scenes that are arguably more evocative than those previously seen on Persian ceramics. The minai masters were the self-same potters who worked on lustreware of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and as a result both techniques share certain features both technically, such as their second firing, and in their decoration, such as the moon-faced figural type. The decorative elements of minai ware are thought to originate in textile patterns and book illustrations.

Seljuk Costume on Ceramics
Seljuk Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers