Lot 230. An Iznik blue and green pottery ‘grape’ dish, Turkey, circa 1565; 33.5cm. diam. Estimate 30,000 — 40,000 GBP (34,824 - 46,432 EUR)Unsold. Courtesy Sotheby's.

of deep rounded form, decorated in underglaze cobalt blue and green, a central design of bunches of grapes amongst curling leaves and tendrils, a wide cavetto with scrolling blossom, the exterior with similar blossom design.

Note: This sixteenth-century dish is based on a Ming design from the beginning of the fifteenth century, of which there are examples in the Topkapi Palace (see R. Krahl, Chinese Ceramics in the Topkapi Museum Istanbul, vol.II, London, 1986, nos.605 and 606. The potters at Iznik may have had first-hand knowledge of the Chinese porcelains at court, but more likely, they were sent drawings or pounced studies by draughtsmen working in a kitabkhana. The fact that the grape motif is reversed compared with the Chinese model supports the theory that a transfer was used. 

It remained popular as a pattern on Iznik throughout the sixteenth century and a number of variations are now in museum collections. There is an almost identical example in the Freer Gallery of Art (see Atil 1973, no.83), another rimless example with both blue and green glazes from the collection of Lady Barlow, Cambridge (Atasoy and Raby, pp.198-99, no.717) and a further example sold in these rooms, 17 October 1997, lot 39.

Sotheby's. Arts of the Islamic World including Fine Rugs and Carpets, London, 01 May 2019, 10:30 AM