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  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Iran (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1600-1640 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Fritware painted in 2 blues and black

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 145, case EXP

Physical description

The extended nine brackets of the rim lead to nine petal panels filled with tubes, squares, tassels and ribbons. The dividers are narrower than usual perhaps to allow more space for nine panels on the flange and well. A nine-bracket Kraak frame surrounds a haphazard composition of pine trees, striped and dotted rocks, three long-legged birds and fantastic plants. The outer flange and well are covered with nine panels enclosing a cloud shape with three finials. The dividers contain the usual comma motif. The centre could have been painted by a different hand as the design reveals a clumsy use of cobalt.

Place of Origin

Iran (made)


ca. 1600-1640 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Fritware painted in 2 blues and black


Height: 8.9 cm, Width: 50.8 cm, Width: 28.4 cm base ring

Object history note

Historical significance: From the last quarter of the 16th until mid 17th century Chinese dishes with petal panels were the common export wares. The striking effect of the new style of decoration made the design popular not only with the Persian potter but also across western Europe. The design originated in the Tang dynasty when the flattened petals of the lotus decorated Buddhist paintings, stone tiles and various artefacts. These panels vary in number but they are usually six or eight according to the size of the dish. Flowers, fruit, birds and sacred emblems are adopted as decorations and the simplified leafy peach motif becomes especially popular in both China and Persia. In the 17th century Persian potters reinterpret the human figures copied from Chinese models in a comic manner.

Historical context note

Persian blue and white ceramics were primarily produced during the rule of the Safavid Dynasty in Iran (early 16th century to early 18th century). Iranian potters were almost exclusively preoccupied with making wares in the styles of Chinese blue-and-white porcelain some close copies and some more fanciful. Echoes of earlier traditions remained, in particular in the black-under-turquoise colour scheme that dates back in Iran to the end of the 12th century. Towards the end of the 16th century there was a widening of interest that blossomed in the 17th century to a wide range of styles and techniques in which blue and white plays a dominant but not exclusive role.

Descriptive line

Dish, fritware, painted in cobalt blue with birds on rocks in imitation of a Chinese Kraak ware design, Iran, 1600-40.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Y. Crowe, Persia and China: Safavid Blue and White Ceramics in the Victoria and Albert Museum 1501-1738, Switzerland 2002, ISBN 0-9538196-1-1, Worldwide distribution by Thames & Hudson, cat. no. 24, p. 62.

Labels and date

ImitationChinese square mark in black.
243-1884 [1954]





Subjects depicted

Birds; Rock; Plants; Trees; Squares; Tubes


Middle East Section

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