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A Mamluk blue and white pottery bowl, Syria, 14th-15th century

of deep rounded form with slightly inverted rim, on a short foot decorated in cobalt blue under a transparent glittering glaze, outlined in black, with a central bisected hexagon enclosing two large foliate motifs on a blue ground further enclosed by circular bands containing geometric and cross-hatched patterns, the rim with a dotted design, the exterior with a pattern of spiralling motifs. 24cm. diam. Estimate 7,000—9,000 GBP

NOTE: The body is typically Syrian: gritty in texture and chalk-white in colour, quite distinct from the off-white or buff-coloured bodies of Fustat potteries. Other characteristics of ceramic production in late thirteenth and early fourteenth-century Syria are the blue palette and the use of stylised decoration.

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