Sokendai Review of Cultural and Social Studies


The Chemical Composition of the White Glaze
of Early- and Middle-Period Lusterware

SHINMEN, Toshiyasu

(The Graduate University for Advanced Studies,
School of Cultural and Social Studies, Department of Japanese History)

OKANO, Tomohiko

(The Museum of the Middle Eastern Culture Center in Japan)


(Research Laboratory for Scientific Studies on Cultural Properties, Tokyo Gakugei University)

Key words:

Lusterware, Iraq, Egypt, Iran, Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Analysis, Cluster Analysis, Chemical Composition

Forty shards of lusterware produced in Iraq, Egypt and Iran from the 10th to 13th century were examined by energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence analysis in order to compare the compositions of their white glazes. All wares were shown to have used tin-lead-glazes. The results of cluster analysis indicated that they can be classified in four groups according to the chemical compositions of their white glazes.The cluster analysis classification of glazes were supported by classification by body analysis. The chemical composition of the glaze, with the movement of the provenance to change the concentration of PbO, was observed to vary from low concentrations to high concentrations, and was found to decrease again. These results reveal that it is possible to estimate the provenance of lusterware by examining the chemical compositions of their pottery glazes.