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  • Place of origin:

    Iznik (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1530-1535 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Fritware, polychrome underglaze painted in cobalt blue and turquoise, glazed

  • Credit Line:

    Salting Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 137, The Curtain Foundation Gallery, case X, shelf 4

The decoration on this bowl illustrates an important turning-point in the history of ceramics made in Iznik, north-west Anatolia. In the 1530s, potters there turned away from the tightly organized designs of earlier years and began to decorate their wares freehand. Soon they were executing charming designs in a blue and turquoise palette, like this scene in which a snake creeps up on an unsuspecting bird in a tree.

Physical description

White fritware dish, painted in blue and turquoise. Depicts a snake approaching a bird in a tree.

Place of Origin

Iznik (made)


ca. 1530-1535 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Fritware, polychrome underglaze painted in cobalt blue and turquoise, glazed


Diameter: 34 cm

Descriptive line

Stonepaste, painted in blue and turquoise, with a snake approaching a bird in a tree. Turkey (Iznik), ca. 1530-35. Salting Bequest.

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

Atil, Esin, The Age of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent. Catalogue of the Exhibition held at The National Gallery of Art, Washington, 25th Jan - 17th May, 1987; The Art Institute of Chicago, 14th June - 7th Sept., 1987; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 4th Oct - 17th Jan., 1988. Washington: The National Gallery of Art and New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc, 1987. ISBN 0-89468-098-6 (paper), 0-8109-1855-2 (cloth). Plate 176, pp. 320-1, illustration p. 254.
Öney, Gönül. Türk Cini Sanati/Turkish Tile Art. Istanbul, 1976. 99
Miller, Yuri. Chudozestvennaja keramika Turcii. Leningrad, 1972. 85
Lane, Arthur, Later Islamic Pottery, London: 1971 (revised edition), plate 30B
Lane, Arthur. Later Islamic Pottery. London: Faber and Faber, 1957. 133p., ill. Pages 51-2, plate 30A
Lane, A. 'The Ottoman Pottery of Isnik' In: Ars Orientalis, 2, 1957, pp 247-281. Fig. 38
Burlington Fine Arts Club. Faience of Persia and the Nearer East London, 1907. No. 10
Christie's. Oriental Porcelain, Rhodian and Damascus Ware, Objects of Art and Decorative Furniture. London, 17 and 22 May 1905. No. 244
Nurhan Atasoy and Julian Raby, Iznik: The Pottery of Ottoman Turkey (London: Alexandria Press, 1989), fig. 315 (color).

Labels and date

White earthenware painted in blue and turquoise.
TURKISH (ISNIK); first half of 16th century.
Salting Collection. [Used until 11/2003]





Subjects depicted

Serpents (animal); Birds; Trees


Ceramics; Islam


Middle East Section

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