‘A whole range of ceramics now met the demands of local tastes and satisfied the desire for the Chinese style.’
It is not until the Abbasid period that a distinct type and style of ceramic ware emerged that can be distinguished technically as ‘Islamic’. The first clear departure from pre-Islamic designs becomes evident from the middle of the 3rd / 9th century in the course of designing vessels to emulate Chinese porcelains. New methods of manufacture and innovative decorative and glazing techniques, combined with a new range of shapes and decorative motifs that had not previously been seen on the market, produced a whole range of ceramics that met the demands of local tastes and satisfied the desire for the Chinese style. The motifs employed during this period include palmettes and stylised-leaf motifs, and calligraphic scripts.
Hegira second half of 3rd century / AD second half of 9th century Abbasid
Museum of Civilisations | Museum of Oriental Art "Giuseppe Tucci" Rome, Italy
The smooth whiteness of this bowl imitates Chinese white porcelains and is achieved by using a lead-based glaze mixed with tin oxide. Cobalt, imported from Oman or the northern Hijaz in Arabia, has been used for the decoration.