chapter  3
14 Pages

Abbasid Lustrewares

WithErnst Kühnel

In 1914, Charles Vignier drove a wedge in the harmony of scholarly opinions by asserting that many of the excavated ‘Abbasid lusterwares had been produced in Persia, specifically in the city of Rayy, and that these should be seen as prototypes for the wares of Samarra. Maurice Pezard and also Raymond Koechlin essentially agreed with him. If the argument is accepted ipso facto that the secret of metallic luster was known to Egyptian craftsmen before the 8th century, luster first played a role in ceramic decoration under the ‘Abbasids, who then furthered the immense artistic development of this particular technique. Alongside extant Islamic lusterwares, numerous groups of superior Abbasid wares make it quite clear and conclusive–and it can scarcely be debated–that their origins should be sought between 800 A.D at the earliest and 1000 A. D. at the latest.