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an overglaze pigment for decorating ceramic goods that has, after muffled reduction firing, a metallic or mother-of-pearl sheen. The overglaze enriches the decoration by introducing a broad range of gold, olive brown, copper, and violet tones.
Lusterware appeared in Egypt (Al-Fustat), Syria (Raqqa), Iraq (Samarra), and Iran (Susa) in the late eighth and ninth centuries. The use of luster pigments was particularly widespread in Egypt from the tenth to 12th centuries and in Iran from the 11th to 14th centuries. Egyptian and Iranian decorative tiles and ornamental dishes with representations of people and animals influenced the development of Hispano-Moresque pottery (13th–5th centuries) and Italian majolica (15th–16th centuries), of which luster painting was a prominent feature. Lusters are widely used today in Soviet and foreign decorative ceramics.