Polychrome Iznik Dish

Amir Mohtashemi Ltd.

Decorated with an abstract, radial motif against a white ground, this shallow dish is characteristic of the reign of Murad III (1574-1595).1 White blossoms are placed in the alternating red and green compartments of a large rosette, which radiates from a central octofoil lotus flower. Eight stylised lotus panels, reminiscent of polylobed ogee-shaped arches, form a border around the central rosette. Eight small red quatrefoils fill the remaining white space in the cavetto. The rim of the dish is decorated with small trefoil arches each housing a black dot, on a thin green border. The reverse of the dish is simply decorated with a pair of cobalt blue rings around the rim and the foot, and alternating blossoms and pairs of tulips on the cavetto. 

Dishes of similar design and date are found in the Musée national de la Renaissance in Écouen, France (accession no. E. Cl. 8244) and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London (accession no. 125-1870). The cavetto of a plate dated to c. 1575 (accession no. 11127) in the Benaki Museum in Athens, is very similarly ornamented with cobalt-blue stylised lotus panels and red quatrefoils. 

1 Hitzel, Frédéric and Jacotin, Mireille. Iznik. Les céramiques ottomans du musée national de la Renaissance Château d’Écouen. Paris: Éditions de la Réunion des musées nationaux, 2005. p. 229.
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