A large and impressive 17th century Hispano Moresque lusterware charger with deep metallic copper vine leaf patterns over a cream colored slip. This classic vine-leaf motif has its origins in Gothic art with similar border designs represented in the illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance Period. The richly colored metallic luster is achieved by applying the paint as an overglaze and then firing under high temperature a second time. This charger is of a classic form with footed base, gently sloping walls, wide rim and Pseudo-Kufic script on verso. Valencia, circa 1650 - 1700.
For those unfamiliar, 'Hispano Moresque' lusterware is a unique form of Spanish pottery that took root during the late Middle Ages and saw it's pinnacle of popularity during the Renaissance period. 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 came to a rather abrupt halt 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 Morisco labor was the backbone of Spanish society and when that labor force was withdrawn, it precipitated a labor vacuum followed by crippling economic decay.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: 16 inches diameter
Condition: multiple rim chips, surface abrasions, glaze loss.
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