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Hispano moresque lusterware dish, circa 1525-1560, the central boss with a floral motif, the cavetto with an abstract floral design and the wide rim with four sections divided by arabesque bands, containing Persian palmettes in lustre and cobalt blue against a stippled ground.
Naturalistic designs of plants and calligraphic patterns were popular choices for the Moorish potters in Spain who made Hispano-Moresque ware. Persian palmettes, for example, originated from pomegranate motifs on Islamic textiles.
Although early designs are more overtly Islamic, and can include inscriptions in Arabic and symbols such as the tree of life, the huge popularity of these wares and their increased production for wider consumption across Europe led to a fusion of Islamic and European design elements. The beautiful lustre effect is achieved by first firing the piece, then applying a tin glaze over a design traced in cobalt blue before the second firing, then brushing on a metallic pigment on top of the tin glaze before a third firing in a redu. This technique was perfected by Islamic potters; in part because the use of vessels made from precious metals at mealtimes was prohibited by the Hadiths (the record of the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad)