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Islamic Lustreware

Origins and Techniques


Lustreware is a sophisticated decorative technique developed by Islamic potters beginning in the 8th century AD and used on pottery up until the last century. Ceramic vessels successfully treated with the lustre process radiate with a metallic shine. The Islamic potter and historian Abu'l Qasim described the effect about 1300, saying "That which has been evenly fired reflects like red gold and shines like the light of the sun."


This project is based on the research of Trinitat Pradell (Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya), Judit Molera (Universitat de Girona), Andy Smith (Daresbury Laboratory), and Michael S. Tite (RLAHA). Main sources are listed here.

An excellent source for further information about Islamic ceramics in general with much data on lustres is the Ashmolean Museum's Web-Based Teaching Course on Islamic Ceramics.

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Fatimid Lustreware - Sotheby's The Islamic Historian Abu'l QasimPhotos of Sherd 9th Century Lustreware Sherd Showing LustreLustreware IllustratedSancai Amphora - Tang Dynasty - Hong Kong MuseumTang Dynasty Influences9th Century Lustreware Cup at the LouvreLustreware History
Potter Yoanis Habib uses a pottery wheel in a workshop February 20, 2003 in A'ali, Bahrain.Lustreware Invention ProcessTraditional Pottery Making in BahrainMaking Lustreware Experimental Kiln at the Synchrotron Radiation SourceChemical Processes Underlying LustrewareIslamic Saminid Period Plate - Late 9th-Early 10th CIslamic Saminid Period Plate - Late 9th-Early 10th C
Polychrome Lustreware Cup - 9th century AD, Iraq9th Century Abbasid Lustreware CeramicsMonochrome Lustreware Cup - 10th Century Iraq10th Century Abbasid Lustreware VesselLustreware Bowl, Fatimid Dynasty, 11th Century EgyptLustreware Bowl, Fatimid Dynasty, 11th Century EgyptRaqqa Bowl with Peacock Decoration - 13th CenturyRaqqa Bowl with Peacock Decoration 13th Century
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