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Lusterware Made in the Abbadid Taifa of Seville (Eleventh Century) and Its Early Production in the Mediterranean Region

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This article presents a study of the expansion of Islamic lusterware across the Mediterranean before its production was fully consolidated in al-Andalus between the end of the twelfth and the thirteenth century. A number of examples are presented here that indicate a flourishing trade around the Mediterranean as early as the tenth century, including pottery as well as other luxury goods. A survey of lusterware found on the Iberian Peninsula has yielded relevant information on the complex technical history of local luster production. We present seven Andalusi luster fragments from the eleventh century that feature decoration on both sides, with one piece bearing epigraphic inscriptions naming two of the Abbadid rulers of Seville, al-Muʿtaḍid and al-Muʿtamid. Discovered in Spain (Seville and Palma del Rio) and Portugal (Silves and Coimbra), these fragments indicate the existence of a ceramic production center in Seville and another at the Abbadid palace during the second half of the eleventh century. These pieces indicate the direct and marked influence that the various centers of luxury luster production in the Islamic East and West exerted on one another, a phenomenon not uncommon in the history of Islamic pottery.


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