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A Mamluk blue and white ceramic pot, Syria, late 14th-15th century

of slightly waisted cylindrical form with everted rim, on short foot, with curved handle running from body to mouth, decorated in blue and white with continuous band of scrolling chevrons set against a background of geometric decoration. Estimate 5,000—7,000 GBP

NOTE: inscriptions

repetition of:

'al-izz wa al-iqbal'

The present piece belongs to a group of closed shape Syrian and Damascan pots which share the same distinct concave cylindrical form. It is thought that their genesis is found in the early thirteenth century wares of Raqqa, continued in production in the Mamluk period in a heavier and more robust form. It is generally accepted that they functioned as chamber pots, but it has also been suggested that they were used as spittoons.

For a similar example, and a full discussion of ceramic wares from Mamluk Syria, see Gibbs 1998, pp.29-30

Sotheby's. Arts of the Islamic World. 01 Apr 09. London www.sothebys.com photo courtesy Sotheby's