Iznik Dish with Floral Design
Unknown artist, Turkish
Iznik Dish with Floral Design, around 1550-1575
Fritware with polychrome underglaze
Height: 6.2 cm (2 7/16 inches)
Gift of Miss Theodora Lyman 19.271
By the mid-sixteenth century, Turkish potters at Iznik (southeast of Istanbul) were able to create ceramics in a four-color palette of red, green, turquoise, and cobalt blue. Inspired by Chinese porcelain but in technique completely different, wares with innovative designs in the Turkish taste merged Chinese motifs such as the wave-and-scroll pattern with depictions of native Turkish plants—tulips, carnations, and hyacinths—seen on this plate’s central area. The serrated saz (reed-pen) leaf dominating the middle of the plate and the surrounding blossoms reflect the influence of pen drawing practiced at the Ottoman court’s painting workshop on Iznik ceramic designs.