Ceramic plate. Height: 7 cm, Diameter: 45½ cm. From Iznik, c. 1500.
An example of the pure white ground on which the cobalt blue design (large rumis and cloud bands, scrolling branches and blossoms) is depicted. These designs were drawn by the artists of the Topkapı Sarayı workshop and sent to the potters at Iznik for transfer to the tile panels and plates, which were not only used in the mosques and palaces of the Ottoman Empire, but were exported all over Europe.
İznik work, named after the town in western Anatolia where it was made, is a decorated ceramic that was produced from the last quarter of the 15th century until the end of the 17th century. İznik town was an established centre for the production of simple earthenware tiles and pottery with an underglaze decoration when in the last quarter of the 15th century, craftsmen in the town began to manufacture high quality tiles and pottery with a fritware body (frit being added to clay to reduce its fusion temperature), painted with cobalt blue under a colourless lead glaze. The meticulous designs combined traditional Ottoman arabesque patterns with Chinese elements. The change was a result of the active intervention and patronage by the recently established Ottoman court in Istanbul, who greatly valued Chinese blue-and-white porcelain.
Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen.
Source: ‘Land of Civilizations, Turkey’ – Catalogue of the Fukuoka Exhibition (Japan), 1985 & Wikipedia .