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    Sale 7615

    Art of The Islamic And Indian Worlds

    7 October 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 51

    A TELL MINIS LUSTRE PAINTED WHITE GLAZED POTTERY BOWL

    FATIMID SYRIA, 12TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A TELL MINIS LUSTRE PAINTED WHITE GLAZED POTTERY BOWL
    FATIMID SYRIA, 12TH CENTURY
    Of shallow rounded form with everted lip on short everted foot, the interior painted with the figure of a lion prancing on a ground of scrolling vine, a band of lobed motifs around the rim, the exterior with a plain lustre band around the rim, repaired clean breaks, retouching of colour on lion's body
    8¼in. (21cm.) diam.


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    A bowl that is very similar indeed to this dish is in the Kunstinustrimuseet in Copenhagen (Venetia Porter and Oliver Watson, "Tell Minis Wares", in James Allan and Caroline Roberts (eds.), Syria and Iran, Three Studies in Medieval Ceramics, Oxford, 1987, no.A9, pp.208 and 223). The posture of the gambolling lion in the centre of the bowl and the scrolling arabesques are so similar as to indicate they could even be painted by the same potter. Both the drawing and the potting make it certain that this is a part of the group that was identified by Porter and Watson in this article.

    Various examples from this group were known and published from the early 20th century, examples in the Louvre Museum being particularly well published. The first however which were published in an archaeological context were those excavated in Hama in the 1930s but only published nearly thirty years later (P. J. Riis and Vagn Poulsen, Hama, fouilles et recherches de la Fondation Carlsberg 1931-1938, Copenhagen, 1957). At that time they were described as "Ancient Syrian Pottery from local production". It was the important article noted above by Porter and Watson that defined the group clearly, discussing both the lustre painted examples and also the monochrome wares, and tentatively attributing them to Tell Minis. It is very rare indeed for a lustre pottery dish that relates closely to the original group to appear on the market.

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    Pre-Lot Text

    "TELL MINIS" WARES FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION
    (lots 51-62)

    The following group of pottery was all purchased together in the late 1950s or early 1960s.