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  • Place of origin:

    Iznik (probably, made)

  • Date:

    1625-1650 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Fritware, polychrome underglaze painted, glazed

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Islamic Middle East, Room 42, The Jameel Gallery, case WN4, shelf 3

  • Public access description

    This plate was probably made in Iznik, in north-west Anatolia. By the 1530s, small sprays of tulips and other recognisable flowers were a common motif on Iznik ceramics. From the 1550s these were replaced by compositions on a larger scale, such as this design with a sailing ship.

    The Ottoman court renewed its patronage of Iznik ceramics during the construction of the Süleymaniye mosque in Istanbul in 1550 to 1557. The first Iznik tiles were produced, and potters added a bright red to the range of colours painted under the glaze. This was achieved with a slip (liquid clay) made from a special clay.

    In the following decades, tiles of high quality were decorated in red, green and tones of blue on a white ground. Dishes, bottles and other vessels had similar decoration on white or coloured grounds.

  • Physical description

    Deep dish depicting a European-style sailing ship at sea. Crude spirals in the rim approximate Chinese wave-motifs.

  • Dimensions

    Diameter: 31.2 cm, Height: 4.9 cm

  • Historical context note

    This curious plate is one of a number of Iznik wares of the early seventeenth century which depict sailing ships. The painter has made an admirable effort at realism, as can be seen in the puffed-out sails and the inclusion of details like the crow's-nests; yet abstract motifs remain a staple of the genre, as can be seen in the S-shaped "clouds" in the sky.

  • Descriptive line

    Deep dish depicting a European-style sailing ship, Turkey (probably Iznik), 1625-1650.

  • Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

    Lane, Arthur. Later Islamic Pottery. London: Faber and Faber, 1957. 133p., ill. Pages 56-58, plate 46B

  • Labels and date

    White earthenware painted in underglaze colours.
    TURKISH (ISNIK); second half of the 16th century. [Old gallery label]
    Dish with Ship
    Turkey, probably Iznik
    Fritware painted under the glaze
    Museum no. 315-1867 [Jameel Gallery]

  • Collection code

    Middle East Section