A 19th Century Polychrome Moorish Vase



A chalice form vase with geometric decoration in polychrome glazes

Hispano-Moresque pottery, was initially produced in Southern Spain when the country was occupied by the Moors.

Antique Hispano-Moresque pottery is glazed and painted tin, using a copper oxide (occasionally in the earlier pieces it was used in conjunction with silver oxide) and sometimes cobalt blue. Initially the centres of production were Malaga, Almeria, Murcia and Granada. After the Christian re-conquest of southern Spain, Valencia became the main centre for the production of antique Hispano-Moresque pottery.

Early designs are typical Islamic: palm motifs, the tree of life and Arabic inscriptions. Later designs became a combination of Islamic and Italian Renaissance motifs. In this example, the decoration is entirely geometric. The Arabic inscriptions indicate that, in the 15th century, the work was taken over by Christian craftsmen. The imitation of this type of pottery, in Italy, led to the development of Italian maiolica ware.

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