Historical Reference

Mamluk Raqqa Pottery Jar Ayyubid Syria Early 15th

Mamluk Raqqa Pottery Jar Ayyubid Syria Early 15th

Mamluk Raqqa Pottery Jar Ayyubid Syria Early 15th

Arts of the Islamic World
Sale: L08220 | Location: London
Auction Dates: Session 1: Wed, 09 Apr 08 10:00 AM
LOT 166
CIRCA 1200-1230
200,000—300,000 GBP
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 252,500 GBP
measurements note
24cm. height
of baluster form on a spreading foot with recessed base, the high sloping shoulders rising to a straight cylindrical neck with everted mouth, the body decorated under the glaze in black with a frieze of arabesques blades around the body with minor bands of chevron pattern above and below, the neck with a band of pseudo-kufic
Repetition of two Persian quatrains.
A fine intact example of Raqqa pottery from Ayyubid Syria.
This type of jar with its baluster-shaped body was a speciality of the Euphrates kilns at Raqqa in eastern Syria during the prosperous period of patronage instigated by the Ayyubid prince al-Malik al-Ashraf Musa between 1201 and 1229. With the demise of the kilns in the wake of the Mongol sack of the city in 1265, some potters may have moved westwards as the baluster shape and underglaze technique persist in Damascus pottery production of the ensuing Mamluk period.

These jars are primarily functional vessels used to store and transport spices, foodstuffs and medicinal substances. Unlike the later Damascus jars, many of which were exported and survive in high numbers outside Syria, Raqqa pottery was relatively little known in Europe until the late-nineteenth century when the kiln-site was discovered. Today, some of the most important collections are in North America: at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington (Jenkins 2006, pp.150-157).

There are a few notable instances of Raqqa pottery recorded in medieval Europe which have helped scholars to build up a coherent chronology. Useful in this regard, has been the group of Raqqa bacini incorporated as mosaic fragments in the Bove pulpit of the church of San Giovanni del Toro, Ravello, Italy, dateable to 1200-1230 (see Jenkins 2006, pp.182-184). Several of the Ravello bacini relate closely to the jar presented here, both technically and stylistically, lending credence to the suggested dating parameters of 1200 to 1230.

Seen on www.Sothebys.com

ref. Guide to Mamluk Art and Iznik Tile and Plates the O'Connell Guide

ref. Guide to Mamluk Art