Description & Technical information

A vibrant Iznik jug of baluster form resting on a profiled foot. The jug has a slightly flaring mouth, nearly cylindrical neck, and scrolled handle, decorated in tones of cobalt-blue, turquoise and white. With a white base and cobalt blue outline and scrolled lines, the s-shaped handle ring connects to the jug from the rim to the shoulder. The jug is decorated in underglaze cobalt blue and turquoise, featuring cintamani motifs, pairs of white tulips, and punctuated by repeating medallions in turquoise with arabesque design in cobalt. The jug is divided into three main sections, in terms of decoration – the stem, the body, and the foot. The rim of the stem features an interlacing zigzag pattern with dark blue above and turquoise below. The stem and the body are separated by a border in white decorated with a diagonal strokes design while the foot features a band of marbling design in cobalt. 

Turquoise had entered the Iznik palette by the 1520s. The turquoise, and cobalt-blue palette was used throughout the 16th century as can be observed in the present jug. The floral decoration of this jug is typical of Iznik ceramics. By the 1530s, small sprays of tulips and other recognisable flowers were a common motif on vessels made in the town of Iznik in north-west Anatolia. The second half of the 16th century witnessed an increasing diversity in Iznik ceramic forms, as well as high achievement. Jugs such as this were often painted with a rich repertoire of motifs on crisp white ground, clear transparent glaze and vivid colours, creating a harmonious decorative scheme. However, our example seems to have followed the colour scheme from the earlier period, that is, 1535-40. 

Comparative materials:
Same jug found in Rackham, Bernard. Islamic Pottery and Italian Maiolica: Illustrated Catalogue of a Private Collection. London: Faber and Faber, 1959, p. 36, p.34
British Museum (G.137, G.111878,1230.514)
Victoria and Albert Museum (C.2006-1910)
Musée du Louvre, Paris (AD 27735) 

Stock no.: A5400

Period:  16th Century
Origin:  Ottoman Turkey
Medium: Ceramic decorated with underglaze polychrome
Dimensions: 19 x 15 cm (7¹/₂ x 5⁷/₈ inches)
Provenance: Ex-Adda collection, published in Rackham, Bernard. Islamic Pottery and Italian Maiolica: Illustrated Catalogue of a Private Collection. London: Faber and Faber, 1959, p. 36, p.34
Published in Atasoy, Nurhan, and Julian Raby. Iznik: The Pottery of Ottoman Turkey. 2nd ed. London: Alexandrian Press, 1989, No. 156, pp. 114-115.
Private European Collection

Categories: Paintings, Drawings & Prints