Name of Object:

Jug with spout


Damascus, Syria

Holding Museum:

National Museum of Damascus

About National Museum of Damascus, Damascus

Date of Object:

Hegira 6th–first half of the 7th century / AD 12th–first half of the 13th century

Museum Inventory Number:

ع / 1135

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Earthenware decorated with metallic lustre glaze.


Height 25.5 cm, diameter (of mouth) 7.5 cm

Period / Dynasty:



Raqqa, Syria.


Earthenware ceramics with a dark-brown metallic lustre glaze were produced in the city of Raqqa during the AH 6th–first half of the 7th / AD 12th–first half of the 13th centuries. What distinguishes these ceramics from those made in other places and periods are the types of colours used, particularly distinctive is the dark-brown.
This jug represents a ceramic of this type. It has a columnar base, a globe-shaped body and a long cylindrical neck with an outward flaying lip. It is outfitted with a long tubular spout and a handle that juts out parallel to the lip and which curves perpendicularly downward to attach at the periphery of the body.
The jug is decorated with dark-brown lustre glaze from the top of the lip, spout, handle, and neck all the way down to the bulk of the globular body, applied in a series of horizontal bands portraying calligraphic, pseudo-calligraphic, stylised vegetal and geometric patterns. Contrasts in colour intensity and band width are also part of the decorative scheme. The transparent, dark-brown metallic lustre is covered with a layer of very light-green glaze.

View Short Description

The region of Raqqa was a prolific producer of fine-quality underglazed lustre ceramics just before the Mongol invasion. The brown colour of this lustre is typical of Raqqa-ware.

How date and origin were established:

Lustre ware in this shade of dark-brown is known to have been produced in the 6th–first half of the 7th / 12th–first half of the 13th centuries in Raqqa. Production of ceramics ended after the Mongol invasion and destruction of the city in 656–7 / 1258–9.

How Object was obtained:

The piece was exchanged between the Damascus and Aleppo museums in 1931.

How provenance was established:

Wares with decorations of this type are known to have been produced in Raqqa, as evidenced by the studies of many Islamic scholars, including Oliver Watson.

Selected bibliography:

Abu al-Faraj al-Ush, M., A Concise Guide to the National Museum of Damascus, Damascus, 1969, pp.231–2.
Caiger-Smith, A., Lustre Pottery: Technique, Tradition and Innovation in Islam and the Western World, London, 1985.
Porter, V., Medieval Syrian Pottery, Oxford, 1981.
Porter, V., and Watson, O., “'Tel Minis' Wares”, in Syria and Iran: Three Studies in Medieval Ceramics, Oxford, 1987, pp.173–248.
Watson, O., Ceramics from Islamic Lands, London, 2004, pp.292–3.

Citation of this web page:

Mona al-Moadin "Jug with spout" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020.;ISL;sy;Mus01;26;en

Prepared by: Mona Al-Moadin
Translation by: Hilary Kalmbach (from the Arabic)
Translation copyedited by: Mandi Gomez

MWNF Working Number: SY 36


Related monuments

 Artistic Introduction

 Timeline for this item

Islamic Dynasties / Period


On display in

MWNF Galleries

Calligraphy Ceramics


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