Spring is in the air! These bright and beautifully painted dishes were made in İznik, Turkey under the Ottoman Empire. Each one is made from fritware and decorated with polychrome underglaze paint.
With the rise the ceramics industry in Turkey, İznik became the nation’s centre of production for simple earthenware pottery. Early 16th-century İznik wares were influenced by the blue-and-white porcelain of Ming-dynasty China and by Persian wares, as can be observed here. These were traditionally painted with stylised and symmetrical designs of flowers, leaves, and fruits, along with abstract linear motifs.
By the mid-16th century the range of colours used in the decoration had expanded to include turquoise, green, and purple, black and later, red. The quality of İznik ware declined in the 17th century, and by 1800 manufacture had ceased.
See these wares and many more on display in our Islamic Middle East gallery.
Dish with floral decoration. Iznik, Turney, late 16th century. Fritware with underglaze painting.
Dish with flower sprays and coat of arms. Iznik, Turkey c. 1570. Fritware with polychrome underglaze painting.
Dish with flower sprays. Iznik, Turkey c. 1530 – 1550. Fritware with polychrome underglaze painting.
Dish with flowers and saz leaves. Iznik, Turkey c. 1575. Fritware with polychrome underglaze painting.
I’ve reached the age where I seriously consider decorating my house with colorful plates.