Lot 145. A Kashan pottery bottle vase with spouted neck, Persia, 13th century. Estimate 15,000 — 20,000 GBP. Lot sold 60,000 GBP. © Sotheby's.

the fritware body of globular form, tall thin neck and splayed mouth, decorated with three paired cobalt blue trails under a transparent glaze; 29.5cm. 

Provenance: Ex-collection Harvey B. Plotnick.
Sotheby's London, 3 October 2012, lot 148.

Note: The use of fritware in Persia from the twelfth century onwards equipped craftsmen with the means to create finer ceramic wares without the need for an opaque white glaze (Pancaroğlu 2007, p.90). The cobalt blue trails form a striking, almost luminous, detail under the transparent glaze on this ewer, establishing a cohesive design across its body.  Yet it is a notably more minimalist design when compared to later wares. According to Pancaroğlu, similar dashes found on ceramics “may have been intended as an apotropaic ‘imperfection’ to protect the alluring, yet delicate, vessel from the harms of the “evil eye”” (Pancaroğlu 2007, pp.90-91, no.48). A vase with a similar paired stripe design is currently in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington D.C. (inv.no.S1997.116).


Vase, Iran, Kashan, late 12th-early 13th century. Stone-paste painted under glaze. H x W x D: 17.8 x 11.1 x 11.1 cm (7 x 4 3/8 x 4 3/8 in). Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge. Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, S1997.116 © 2017 Smithsonian Institution

Sotheby's. Arts of the Islamic World, London, 25 oct. 2017, 10:30 AM