A Large 17th or Early 18th Century Safavid Fritware Dish

Safavid Empire 1501 - 1736

A Large Safavid Fritware Dish, Later Safavid Empire c.1650-1736.  This dish is decorated with flowering plants, perhaps pinks and Convolvulus. This dish is neither pottery or porcelain, it is a separate material – Fritware. This is a curious material which is classified as a type of pottery, fritware began in Iraq in the 9th century. It is also known as stone-paste, ground glass (frit) is added to clay. Other ingredients include gum to bind the material, quartz or other siliceous material. These enables the kiln temperature to be lowed. The fired body is hard, porous and very fragile, glaze helps strengthen the object but still the result is fragile, prone breaking and staining. However, it was more durable than other types of low-fired pottery and perhaps most importantly the appearance produced is of a good clear white. This made it ideal for Persian copies of Chinese porcelain to be made. The base of this dish has a mark, but many of the characters are painted outside the defined limits of the mark.


There is a crack to the rim (see last photograph), a section of flacked off glaze to the base, small rim chips and minor wear.
Diameter 40 cm (15 1/2 inches)
Stock number