This eye-catching bowl is a striking example of Persian Minai-ware, executed in turquoise glaze with blue and black underglaze, and overglazed accents painted in characteristic white, red and gold. The tondo, the medallion at the bottom of the bowl, bears the image of an Arabian camel lavishly outfitted with a rich red blanket patterned with stars and gilded tack. Minai-wares such as this represented a technical advance for Persian ceramicists. Where previously decorations had been restricted to underglazed motifs in painted or incised in slips of limited colors, typically blues and black, Minai-wares (from the Arabic word for glaze) are so-named for the introduction of overglaze painting which allowed the vase-painters to use additional colors, such as the red, white, and gold accents featured here on the camel’s saddle and halter. With additional colors at their disposal and freer technique, the artists responsible for Minai-wares were able to execute more complex and naturalistic scenes and drew heavily on contemporary traditions of book illustration and illumination. As is typical for surviving examples of Minai-ware, this piece features extensive modern restorations.
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