Lot 10. A Damascus pottery border tile, Mamluk Syria, late 15th century3 ¾ x 9 ¼in. (9.5 x 23.4cm.). Estimate GBP 5,000 - GBP 7,000 (USD 6,280 - USD 8,792). © Christie's Images Ltd 2020.

The white ground decorated with cobalt-blue, turquoise and black reciprocal palmettes filled with smaller arabesques and leafy vine, within turquoise borders above and below, small chips to edges.

ProvenanceAdda Family Collection, Alexandria, formed in the first half of the 20th century, by repute
Anon sale, Christie's, London, 31 March 2009, lot 133
Where acquired by the present owner.

Note: The pattern or reciprocal trefoil design is one of the most classic Islamic borders, found with variants in many countries and periods. The present border tile has much in common with Ottoman 16th century designs. The Dome of the Rock has a border of reciprocal trefoils, one half of which are filled with a design almost identical to that found here, while the other half have a design that uses black as a colour for the motifs (Grabar and Nusseibeh, 1997, p.42). The drawing of the present tile panel however has more freedom in the handling of the design, indicative of late Mamluk pottery from Damascus where exactly these colours were also used. The tile is also unusually thick, much more so than any tile from Ottoman Iznik or Damascus, also clearly indicating an earlier date.

Christie's. Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds Including Oriental Rugs and Carpets, London, 2 April 2020