Large pottery jars are among the most impressive products of the potteries of Syria from the 13th to the 15th centuries. Examples are found in lustre on a cobalt-blue ground and carved under a monochrome glaze. The most extensive group is however with blue and usually black painted under a plain glaze.
This example has a typical treatment of the neck with its vertical blue stripes divided by black floral motifs. It is the body however that is unusual. The immensely powerful design of interlaced bands around heavily outlined roundels is only paralelled in one other published example, of slightly earlier date, decorated in black under a turquoise glaze. This is a large Raqqa jar formerly in the Kelekian Collection (Lane EIP pl.92A). That jar has only two rows of roundels which contain zigzag motifs and lack the heavy black outlines that lends the strength to this design. The roundels on this jar, usually alternating with floral motifs and used as a border design, are found in a number of pottery vessels from Damascus in the 14th and 15th centuries, such as the bowl and dish in this sale, lots 30 and 32, and a jar in Italy (Lane, LIP, pl.16A)
Lane, A.: Early Islamic Pottery, London 1947
Lane, A.: Later Islamic Pottery, London 1957