Kubachi Dishes

Objects: M039 and M047
JIAAW, Minassian Collection

These exquisite blue and white dishes belong to a family of ceramics called Kubachi ware. Kubachi wares are believed to have been produced in northwestern Iran during the 15th and 16th centuries, but are named after the village in the Caucasus where this type of pottery was primarily discovered. The blue and white motif that is common in Kubachi wares is largely inspired by the pottery of the Chinese Ming Dynasty, whose influence in this period stretched beyond Central Asia. Kubachi wares are made of stonepaste (also called fritware), a type of pottery in which crushed pieces of glass, or frit, were added to the clay allowing for the pottery to be fired at a lower temperature. This produced a strong white body which, as in these examples, could be glazed over with an opaque white solution, mimicking Chinese porcelain. 

The Joukowsky Institute’s collection contains more than a dozen examples of Kubachi ware, including turquoise and black pieces, polychrome pieces, and more blue and white pieces like those highlighted here. 

-Jinette Jimenez ’21, JIAAW Records and Collections Assistant

Learn more about Kubachi wares and see some other examples below. 

Pottery – Later Persian

Pottery – Pottery – Later Persian: Since the whole of Central Asia now lay under the Mongol domination, overland trade with China greatly increased. By the 15th century Chinese influence, particularly that of Ming blue-and-white, was predominant, and the older styles were tending to die out (see below China: Ming dynasty).

Collections Online | British Museum

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Bowl | The Met

Kelekian, Dikran G. The Kelekian Collection of Persian and Analogous Potteries 1885-1910. Paris: Herbert Clarke, 1910. ill. pl. 81, Illustrates a similar piece [also Lane, pl. 20A] found at Koubatscha [sic], dated 873 A.H./1469 A.D. Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Mohammedan Decorative Arts. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1930.

Dish with a Portrait of a Man | The Met

This dish belongs to a group of ceramics known as Kubachi ware. Named for a village in the Caucasus where this pottery was discovered in quantity, Kubachi wares are now thought to have actually been produced in Tabriz. One attribute of the Kubachi style is an uneven application of the glaze that has resulted in a surface-wide crackle.