Glassware - Plate

Clear glass dish, painted in gold and blue enamel 
The Lobmeyr monogram is engraved in white enamel on the underside.
Size: Diameter: 29 cm 
Origin and time: J. & L. Lobmeyer (Nr.3873) Designed by Johann Machytka and Franz Schmoranz 1878 
Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna
Inv. No. J 344

The decorative design of this plate consists of two inscription bands (engraved along the rim and along the mirror) which are connected by four circular shapes overlapping the inscription frieze. The middle area of the dish is decorated on unadorned glass with a star motif. The surfaces between the circles are covered in an enamel design consisting of fern motifs.
The decoration pattern goes back to Mameluk metalwork and glasswork. In his work on the medieval art of Cairo, L’art arabe d’après les monuments du Kaire, Prisse d’Avennes had already included illustrations of such a plate. It remains unknown whether the large plate described herein relates to a specific example or whether it illustrates a pasticcio of several Mameluk original designs which had been analyzed by Machytka and Schmoranz. At the time when this plate was created, the use of the decorative motifs of inscription bands and ferns in many artwork patterns as well as in original works in the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna was so popular that designers were able to select an assortment of motifs and use them for decorative purposes. In terms of colour, the assortment of gold and blue is a renowned technique for the Spanish ceramic art of the 15th and 16th centuries and could have been used for designing objects such as this plate. Examples of Spanish ceramic artworks of the 15th and 16th centuries which were largely popular in German-speaking countries were exhibited in every museum of applied arts. In their designs, Machytka and Schmoranz attempted to combine the different styles of the Islamic art world, in order to surpass their prototypes. The translated inscription in the centre of the dish reads: “God reigns, He is the one conqueror”. The following words are engraved on both borders encircling the round medallions: “Save us from deceit!”