An Iznik Pottery Dish, Ottoman Turkey, Circa 1590
With sloping rim on short foot, the interior with two large white saz leaves flanking a red fish-scale and white split palmette cartouche, flanked by white floral spray with red and blue highlights, all reserved against a dense ground of green fish-scale, the rim with blue and black cloud and scroll, the exterior with simple blue trefoil alternating with green flowerhead, foot and rim drilled, one large break with old rivets, minor chips to rim. 12¼in. (31.1cm.) diam. Estimate £6,000 - £8,000
Provenance: W. Hope, England, in 1868 (noted as its owner on the Liverpool Arts Club label),
Tevfik and Nihal Kuyas Collection, Davos, circa 1960s-1996,
In these Rooms, Vincent Bulent Collection, 26 April 2005, lot 9.
Exhibited: Liverpool Arts Club, 1865 (label on reverse)
Notes: A dish with very similar field is in the Gulbenkian Collection (Maria Queiroz Ribeiro, Iznik Pottery, Lisbon 1996, no. 32, p. 149).
The fish-scale pattern which covers the ground of this bowl was first used to decorate a jug in the form of a fish in the Benaki Museum, Athens, dating from the 1520s (Inv. no. 10; Nurhan Atasoy and Julian Raby, Iznik, the Pottery of Ottoman Turkey, London, 1989, pl. 124, p. 106). The scale pattern was almost certainly originally inspired by its use in Yuan Chinese blue and white porcelain. One dish in the Topkapi Palace has cusped panels of this design coupled with so many elements including a spiralling ground and a wave and rock border, that it is difficult not to think that it was a major influence on the designers of Iznik pottery (Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics in the Topkapi Saray Museum, London 1986, no. 552, p. 489, col.pl.p. 387). The use of a fish-scale field design can also be seen in Islamic art on a 15th century twin dragon-headed candlestick from Khorassan in the David Collection (Kjeld von Folsach, Islamic Art, Copenhagen 1990, no. 346, p. 207).
Christie's. Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds 31 March 2009 . London, King Street. www.christies.com Image 2009 Christie's Ltd