Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Burrell Collection, Glasgow Museums
Hegira 7th century / AD 13th century
Stone-paste (fritware) with a deep-turquoise glaze.
Height 4.1 cm, diameter (of rim) 15.2 cm
An undecorated, thickly potted dish with a heavily applied deep-turquoise glaze that is typical of Raqqa ware in both its manufacture and shape. Though badly deteriorating, the glaze still indicates how beautiful this plain dish would have been in its time. The colour turquoise was appreciated aesthetically, and was thought to have protective qualities, rendering it popular in ceramics throughout the Islamic Middle East.
Raqqa was one of two major pottery-production centres in Ayyubid Syria, the other being Rusafah. In Raqqa there were a number of pottery workshops that produced a range of ceramics including lustre-painted, relief-moulded and underglaze-painted vessels. The pottery production ceased when the Mongols razed the city to the ground in AH 657 / AD 1259.
Though badly deteriorated, this turquoise dish would have looked strikingly blue when still new. Raqqa in Syria was an important centre for the production of ceramics during the Ayyubid period, generating many pieces with turquoise glazing, which was a popular auspicious colour in the Middle East.
Stylistic analysis, together with analysis of the material composition of the vessel's body which is distinctively that of Raqqa. Furthermore, the nature and extent of the deterioration of the glaze is also typical of Raqqa ceramics.
Part of the collection given to the City of Glasgow by Sir William and Lady Burrell in 1944.
The vessel is typical of Raqqa ceramics in both its material composition and in the nature of the deterioration of the glaze.
Fehervari, G., Ceramics of the Islamic World in the Tareq Rajab Museum, London, 2000.
Grube, E. J., Cobalt and Lustre: The First Centuries of Islamic Pottery, the Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, Vol. 9, London, 1994.
Noorah Al-Gailani "Dish" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2017. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;uk;Mus04;13;en
Prepared by: Noorah Al-GailaniNoorah Al-Gailani
Noorah Al-Gailani is Curator for Islamic Civilisations at Glasgow Museums, Scotland. With a BA in Interior Design from the College of Fine Arts, Baghdad University and three years' experience in design and folk art preservation, she moved to the UK in 1992. On completing her MA in Museum Studies at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London in 1994, she worked as Project Officer at the Grange Museum of Community History documenting the presence of Muslim communities in the London Borough of Brent. In 1995 she was Assistant Curator, Ancient Monuments Laboratory, English Heritage, and in 1996 became Curator for John Wesley's House and the Museum of Methodism in London. She co-authored The Islamic Year: Surahs, Stories and Celebrations (Stroud: Hawthorn Press, 2002) for non-Muslim children. Since 2003 she has been based at The Burrell Collection in Glasgow, working across the city's museums to interpret Islamic art and culture, ancient and modern, through research, exhibitions and educational activities.
Copyedited by: Mandi Gomez
MWNF Working Number: UK4 19