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Tin-Glaze Pottery in Europe and the Islamic World

Tin-Glaze Pottery in Europe and the Islamic World

Manufacturer: Gentle Breeze Publishing
Axner Number: A996771
Weight: 1 lbs., 5.92000 oz.

List Price: $39.95
Axner Price: $23.60
You Save: $16.35 (41 %)

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Product Details
by Alan Caiger-Smith

Paperback: 236 pages
Publisher: Gentle Breeze Publishing (2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1-889250-25-2
Dimensions: 9.25" x 7.5" x 0.75"
Shipping Weight: 1.37 lbs.

Painted tin-glaze pottery is perhaps the most thoroughly European ware the western world has produced, and yet it was an Islamic invention. Unlike porcelain, which came from China, it seems to have had its origins in Mesopotamia in the ninth century. If the tin-glaze technique itself—basically that of painted earthenware with an opaque white glaze—changed little as it passed from the Islamic potters to Spain and Italy in the fifteenth century, and from there to northern and central Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, each country it reached was to make different use of it and express something quite individual through it. The range of wares is therefore vast. At one extreme are the luxury wares made for the caliphs of Baghdad and Cairo, the splendid Hispano-Moresque lustres and renaissance Italian maiolica; at the other, the bold patterns and images of the early popular Spanish and Italian pottery, and the more domestic and very personal productions of English delftware.

Alan Caiger-Smith, who is himself a distinguished tin-glaze potter, traces the development of the tradition from the beginning to the present day with great precision. The story is a gripping one and he tells it con amore. He uses his experience to see into the ideas and methods involved in each type of pottery and reveals much of the different social contexts in which it was made. His breadth of vision and continual practical insights make his book unique in ceramic literature.

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