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Minakari (Vitreous Enamel)

Minakari (Vitreous Enamel) is one of the most beautiful Iranian arts that has many advocators.

Vitreous Enamel is done in different cities in Iran and each of them has its own special style. This article is allocated to the introduction of this art.

More about Minakari or Enamelling 

Persian Minakari is one of the most glorious handicrafts of Iran.

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It’s the art of painting and drawing on the metal’s surface like gold, silver, and copper with enameling of colors and fire in a furnace (sometimes, it is done on glass or ceramic).

According to Arthur Pope, an orientalist, the antiquity of Meenakari  returns to 1500 years before Christ, but doing it on the metal appeared 400-600 years before Christ.

Enamelling is usually done on different dishes like:

  • vase and plate
  • picture frame
  • door and window
  • ornaments
  • and decorative objects

and in combination with:

  • inlaid work
  • miniatures
  • and jewelry
  • and other arts.

Different kinds of colors that are used in Persian Ename are taken from plants, minerals, and ironstone.

Today, chemical colors are being used.

Craftsman use gold, copper and tin in combination with different chemicals for creating colors of red, green and yellow.

“Mina” in Persian means “heaven”.

It is a glassy cover that is getting fixed with temperature on different metals.

Meenakari handcrafts are available in different colors like:

  • azure blue
  • reddish-purple
  • green
  • yellow
  • turquoise
  • yellow
  • golden
  • and black

but Isfahan Minakari is being known for azure blue and turquoise colors.

Definition of Mina

“Mina” is an ingredient from clear glass glaze that it is being used on tiles and metals for patterns and it is a compound of Lajevard.

Terminologically, Meenakari means: the art of fire and soil with dried mineral colors.

Short History of Meenakari

We can refer to the beginning of the creation of Meenakari art to the time of making tiles because the colors that are being used in mina production are also used in tile making.

About the short history of in Iran, we can say that it reaches to Arsacids and Sassanid period, but using it from the beginning of Islam to the prior Mongol tribalism (Ilkhani) dynasty is not clear to us.

In fact, it is possible that this art couldn’t be Iranian, but because it passed its evolvement in Iran and especially in its artistic capital means the beautiful city of Zendeh Rood, it has become Iranian and today, in front of the world, it is being recognized as the gift of Sepahan artists.

According to the research done, the background of Vitreous Enamel art returns to ancient Rome;

because reports indicate that a part of Zeus’ statue is Enamel. Zeus statue is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and relates to 450 years before Christ.

Different kinds of Minakari (Vitreous Enamel)

Minakari (Vitreous Enamel) has different kinds and Enamel handicrafts are being produced in different ways like:

  • Hojre Bandi Mina
  • Drawing mina
  • inlaid Mina
  • Embossed mina
  • Ranked (reticulated) mina
  • Shekari mina

Which cities of Iran do Enamel?

The originality of Minakari art that is done on the copper is belongs to Isfahan city that now is so bestselling and has an active export.

Buying Minakari handicrafts is not limited to Minakari (Vitreous Enamel) on copper and includes meenakari on the clay that its originality and privilege belong to Laljin city of Hamedan.

Minakari on jewelries is originally returns to Ahwaz city that it is still done by artists of this city.

With learning Minakari art through different workshops and in partnership with Cultural Heritage Organization, fortunately, this art is being done in:

  • Shiraz
  • Tehran
  • Qom
  • Gilan
  • Zanjan
  • Kashan and etc.

This extensiveness helps to its prosperity and being memorable and on the other hand, integration of culture and nationality of every region.

Isfahan Minakari

Minakari on copper has a long history among different kinds of Isfahan handicrafts.

Meenakari products on copper is being produced in highest level of quality from pure copper sheets with 8 mm thickness and shows Iranian patterns that are under supervision of prominent professors of like “Morteza Esmaili”.

Minakari art of Isfahan (Vitreous Enamel) doesn’t have any meaning without a furnace.

The building of the furnace is in the form of square or rectangular and its interior Skelton is steel.

The reason of choosing steel is the transmission power of heat and its high resistance.

Furnaces of Isfahan handicrafts are being built with high sensitivity and accuracy and due to this, the quality of Isfahan Minakari is different with every products that you ever seen.

Instruments of Minakari:

  • Brush
  • Copy pencil
  • Copper sheets- hammer
  • Bow saw
  • Special colors
  • Furnace
  • And etc.

Buying Minakari Products

You can buy Isfahan Minakari art from handicraft shops. Otherwise, you can buy from online shops.

If you buy artistic work of Vitreous Enamelas a gift, in addition to maintaining respect and value of the other side, you enhance your position and personality prestige.

Isfahan Meenakari had long authenticity, so by buying this art, it seems that you are giving the historical background to your audience as a gift.

Minakari is a product that is famous all over the world.


Which metals are being used in Minakari?

Gold, silver and copper.

Which city of Iran do Meenakari on jewelries?


Can you name some instruments that are being used in Minakari?

Furnace, copper sheet, etc.


Iranian handicrafts has high variety and it is formed according to the culture pf every region.

Meenakari art is beyond of a look and thanking from the art of the hands of Minakar professor that implemented his talents on the metal dishes.

Enamel art is being considered as a valuable and important art of Iranian.

Have you ever seen any products that was built with Minakari art? Is this art attractive for you? Which color of Minakari do you like most? Share your comments with us…

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Hi, I'm Daniel. I am a content creator of this website. On this website, we try to provide useful information about Isfahan and its tourist places. If you have any questions, you can ask us or write to us in the comments section, we will answer you as soon as possible. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest site content.

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