About This Artwork


Dish (Tabaq) with Scale Pattern and Serrated Leaves, Ottoman dynasty (1299–1923), late 16th century

Fritware with underglaze painting in blue, turquoise, red, and black
6 x 30.7 cm (2 3/8 x 12 1/16 in.)

Gift of Martin A. Ryerson, 1930.993

The central design of this dish features two opposing leaves surrounding a central three-lobed (trefoil) shape, all set against a fish-scale motif in turquoise and blue. The design of the leaves is in the so-called saz (reed) style, referring to the reed pen used by Persian and Turkish artists to create black-ink drawings. Early drawings in this style depict dragons and phoenixes in combat surrounded by blossoms and feather-like leaves. The rim of the vessel contains a classic "wave and rock" pattern, inspired by Chinese ceramics. At the beginning of Iznik pottery production, Chinese porcelain exerted a large influence on the style and colors of Iznik tiles. However, by the late 16th century, when this dish was created, Iznik potters had developed their own distinctive style of colorful floral and abstract motifs that went beyond their original Chinese influence.

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