Beit Al Kamar    Damascus Courtyard Villa

 

Ishani Tile

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Ishani as it is called in Damascus is ceramic-porcelain made from a fine sand that comes form Ishan, Iran. During the Mamluk Dynasty it traveled from the east to the west (Venice) along with other art and décor items (luxury trade) such as Umayyad glass lamps, glazed glass vessels and bound books not, fine gold threaded brocades and other floor textiles. This form of pottery has evolved merging with Turkish Iznik types around the seventeenth century during the era of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in the Ottoman rule of the Syrian territories ( Beelad al Sham).

It is believed that this type of pottery was first introduced in Syria by shipwrecked Persian sailors trapped on the island of Rhodes. This art in the form of floral tiles and whimsical murals, sometimes peppered with Arabic calligraphy, decorated the entrances of mosques and walls of public fountains.  I have even seen it around in Damascus with Hebrew decoration. This method of under glaze has finally been revived and can be purchased and enjoyed by everyone. Before one makes their selection make sure you pick thicker tiles as they can sometimes crumble when over handled. Once I got this lovely Ishani in my house I could never get enough of it.

 

 

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This site was last updated 01/25/11