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A large Iznik polychrome pottery dish, Turkey, circa 1575 - Sotheby's

of shallow rounded form, decorated in underglaze cobalt blue, viridian green and relief red, outlined in black, featuring a vase emanating sprays of tulips and hyacinths, with an arabesque motif in the centre, the rim with a series of lobed archways, the reverse with paired tulips; 36cm. diam. Estimation: 60,000 - 80,000 GBP

NOTE: The present dish stands out for its deep and richly coloured design comprising tulip stems and hyacinths emanating from a vase and featuring chinoiserie motifs, within a petalled border. The production of Iznik pottery underwent an important revolution in technique and style during the mid-sixteenth century. Primarily due to the introduction of a new colour known as ‘Armenian bole’, a fresh tonal breadth was infused into the polychrome palette and catalysed the move towards the inclusion of predominantly floral and vegetal designs (Venetia Porter, Islamic Tiles, London 1995, pp.103-4). Armenian bole is a rich sealing-wax red pigment produced by combining silica and iron oxide. Itsemployment on Iznik ware spawned a “decorative style … in which tulips, hyacinths, carnations, roses and other flowers were depicted with great realism, along with other Chinese-inspired motifs, such as the lotus flower, chrysanthemum and peony” (Maria D’Orey Capicho Queiroz Riberio, Iznik Pottery and Tiles in the Calouste Gulbenkian Collection, Lisbon 2009, p.51).

This dish can be compared to two dishes in the Château d’Écouen, France, notably one with a combination of similar floral and chinoiserie motifs, inv. no. E.CI.8422 (DS 2437), dated to around 1580, and another with a comparable border, inv. no. E.CI.8298 (DS 2362) dated around 1590 (illustrated in Paris 2005, p.185, fig. 238 and p.252, fig. 381).

Sotheby's. Arts of the Islamic World. London | 24 avr. 2013 www.sothebys.com