Late 17th / early 18th-century Hispano Moresque Lusterware charger in deep copper over a milk-white slip. Classic stylized bird motif surrounded by foliage and geometric patterns. Valencia. Circa 1700.
'Hispano Moresque' lusterware is a unique form of pottery that took root during the late Middle Ages and saw its pinnacle of popularity during the Renaissance period. The iconography and stylized patterns originated in Gothic art, with similar designs represented in the illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods. The richly colored metallic luster is achieved by applying the paint as an overglaze, and then firing under high temperature a second time.
When the Moors conquered Spain in 711 AD, they introduced new glazing, throwing, and firing techniques to Medieval Christian societies. For the next several hundred years both Christian and Morisco potters would migrate to the three major Hispano Moresque production centers, Andalusia, Catalonia, and Valencia, and under the watchful eye of the guilds, quality production continued and the export market flourished. But that good fortune was abruptly halted when King Phillip III decreed the expulsion of the Moriscos. In Valencia alone nearly one third of the population was lost to the expulsion, and two important things ensued. First, economic instability. Morisco labor was the backbone of the Spanish infrastructure and when that labor force was withdrawn, it precipitated a labor vacuum followed by crippling economic decay. Second, and perhaps of greater consequence to Hispano Moresque production, the loss of so many Morisco potters had a direct impact on the three primary Hispano Moresque production centers and their surrounding communities. Although many working kilns continued production, the quality of their wares deteriorated quickly and the secret Islamic manufacturing techniques that had been practiced for centuries were ultimately lost to time
Dimensions: 13.25 inches diameter.
Condition: Period repairs, wear, cracks, chips, commensurate with use and age.
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