Deep Dish

Date: ca. 1430

Geography: Made in probably Manises, Valencia, Spain

Culture: Spanish

Medium: Tin-glazed earthenware

Dimensions: Overall: 2 3/8 x 17 3/4 in. (6 x 45.1 cm)

Classification: Ceramics

Credit Line: The Cloisters Collection, 1956

Accession Number: 56.171.162


With its warm colors, rich metallic surface so successfully imitating the patina of precious metals, and pleasant design combining Muslim and Christian motifs, Valencian lusterware was the most accomplished and sought-after glazed ware in Europe during the fifteenth century. Innumerable members of royal and noble houses in Spain, France, and Italy commissioned lusterware for both table service and decoration and had it emblazoned with their coats of arms. The Muslim motifs that grace this example are typical of the dominant style of Valencian luster decoration during the later part of the fourteenth century: bands of pseudo-kufic script circumscribe the Arabic tree of life and abstract palmette designs found at the center. Typical too are the strokes of cobalt blue glaze set against a background of creamy white with patterns of copper luster.