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A smalt mosaic by Pavel Korin on the Moscow Metro station Komsomolskaya

Smalt is powdered glass, colored to a deep powder blue hue using cobalt. Smalt is used in decoration, dyeing and laundering.

The invention of smalt is sometimes credited to a Bohemian glassmaker named Christoph Schurer, around 1540-1560. Cobalt was, however, used as a pigment in Central Asia from 13th century. A fragment of a mud painting in the ancient Tangut city of Khara-Khoto has been found to contain smalt, judged to be dated between 11th to 13th century.[1]


  1. ^ Watt, J. C .Y. (1979). "Notes on the Use of Cobalt in Later Chinese Ceramics". Ars Orientalis (Freer Gallery of Art, The Smithsonian Institution and Department of the History of Art, University of Michigan) 11: 63–85. ISSN 0571-1371. Retrieved 2009-07-26.  

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