Bowl with Birds and Flowers
Late 1600s, Safavid dynasty (1501–1736)
Gift of Margaret Polak
This small blue-and-white dish is a Persian imitation of a Chinese rice bowl. Made to look like white porcelain with underglaze blue decoration, it is in fact a type of ceramic called fritware, made of ground quartz with added clay and glass, that has been glazed white and painted blue. This process allowed for a relatively low firing temperature and could mimic the appearance of imported wares. Fritware was widely produced, traded, and valued throughout the Islamic world.