Description & Technical information

This polychrome, underglaze square Iznik tile is decorated with a bouquet of blue flowers as a central motif, flanked on either side by irises with broken stems, interspersed by other flowers in bole red and blue tulips bending away from the main composition. The upper border of the tile is decorated with white and bole red sazleaves on a cobalt blue ground with a turquoise border. The main design of the tile is framed by a cobalt blue palmette border; inside the palmette shaped compartments there are painted white and bole red stylised cloud motifs on a turquoise ground. The vivid colours on this tile are typical of the Iznik tiles as are the floral motifs that appeared during the mid-16th century, thus representing a new decorative style. Many of the designs on this tile are often seen on comparative examples: an Iznik tile dated to c. 1575, in the David Collection, Copenhagen, has a very similar design of blue flowers with bole red centres, and broken/bending stems, Accession Number 41/1968. For a similar border design, see an Iznik tile in the Victoria and Albert Museum; Museum Number 1345-1893, date c. 1550-1600. However, the striking, pronounced motif of the irises with broken stems is rare.


Period:  Second half of 16th century
Origin:  Ottoman Turkey
Medium: Polychrome, underglaze
Dimensions: 22.6 cm (8⁷/₈ inches)
Provenance: Private USA Collection

Literature: Reference
Maria d’Orey Capucho Queiroz Ribeiro, Iznik Pottery and Tiles in the Calouste Gulbenikian Collection, Lisbon, 2009.

Categories: Oriental and Asian Art