Lots 308-319 are from the private Islamic arts collection of a distinguished British connoisseur. The collection was assembled over a period of 40 years from the 1970s. It started as a by-product of visiting museums from Istanbul and Rhodes to New York and Washington as a student. It comprises fine Islamic pottery examples from the most important centres of ceramic production, including: Nishapur, from the early Abbasid to Samanid periods; Kashan, from the 12th to 14th century; and Iznik, from the height of the Ottoman Empire.
Dishes such as lot 310, a Nishapur slip-painted pottery piece, are associated with the Samanid dynasty, one of the earliest independent kingdoms to break away from the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad. These fine ceramics decorated with a wide band of bold kufic inscription on a white ground generally carry maker's names, statements, advice, sometimes jokes, and were intended to provoke witty conversation at the dinner table as the food was eaten.
The city of Kashan in central Iran was also a major centre of ceramic production from the 12th to the 14th century, producing wares in a variety of styles and techniques. One of these was the method of painting in blue with black outline on a white ground creating the 'panel style'. This can be seen in lot 316, where the decoration is composed of repeat panels radiating from the centre of the well.
All the pieces, as identified by some of the labels, were acquired either from auction or from reputable dealers in London, and selected for either their representativeness of a classic style or originality in an established idiom.
This May, we are delighted to include this selection of Islamic ceramics and pottery from the private Islamic arts collection of a distinguished British connoisseur in our 15 May Fine Asian & Islamic Works of Art auction in London.