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A rare Iznik Chinoiserie dish, Turkey, circa 1560 - Sotheby's

of shallow rounded form with braketed rim, decorated in greyish-blue with a central floral medallion encircled by lotus blossoms issuing leaves and tendrils outlined in dark grey, the cavetto decorated with a repetition of similar floral designs, rim decorated with flowers and leaves framed by dark grey border, the reverse with alternating tulip bunches and rosettes. 36cm. diam. Estimate: 60,000 - 80,000 GBP

NOTE: This dish illustrates the fascination with early Chinese blue and white porcelains amongst the potters and patrons of Iznik. The origin of the design is an early-fifteenth-century Ming dish such as the one in the collection of the Topkapi Saray (Krahl, R., Chinese Porcelains in the Topkapi Saray, London, 1985, p.513, no.602). The flowers are different but of a kind found on other early-fifteenth-century Chinese dishes (ibid., no.603)A further element drawn from Chinese blue and white porcelain is the grey-blue colour of the design. This appeared on Chinese pieces at times when they were forced to use local cobalt rather than imported sources. This did not happen during the early-fifteenth century which is a period noted for the consistently rich blue of its porcelain. Hence, the decoration draws on sources of different periods and one may assume that this grey-blue was adopted to achieve a particular aesthetic for this piece.

Sotheby's. Arts of the Islamic World. London | 03 Oct 2012 www.sothebys.com