Description & Technical information

The circular polychrome dish is painted with an asymmetrical composition of one central cobalt-blue saz leaf with meandering stems and foliage, red carnations, a blue tulip and a red tulip on a white ground. The central saz leaf is complemented by bright tomato red, and extends onto a second, smaller saz leaf. More peculiar is the cobalt blue flower with thin petals to the right hand side of the dish – this flower has not been identified as so far there has been no comparative material for this flower type. The rim is decorated with alternating red flowers and cobalt-blue pair of tulip sprigs. The style of the rim can be compared to a series of dishes in the Sadberk Hanim Museum and Ömer M. Koç Collections (Bilgi, 2009; see p.267, 270,274 and 275).[1] The reverse of the dish has a black, everted outline, it has a flower motif alternating with a bunch of three flowers motif, all painted in cobalt blue and complemented by turquoise colour. A hole is pierced at the foot of the dish for hanging. 
This type of dish, with depictions of various kinds of flowers and leaves in principally red, blue and turquoise colours, was developed in the 1570-80s by Kara Memi, an illuminator and the head of the workshop at the Ottoman court. Since then, floral designs with certain degrees of realism became principal motifs of Ottoman art. 

[1] Bilgi, Hulya. Dance of Fire : Iznik Tiles and Ceramics in the Sadberk Hanım Museum and Ömer M. Koç Collections. Istanbul: Sadberk Hanim Museum, 2009.

Stock No.: A5387

Period:  Second half of 16th century
Origin:  Ottoman Turkey
Medium: Ceramic decorated with underglaze polychrome
Dimensions: 26 cm (10¹/₄ inches)
Provenance: French private collection