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  • Place of origin:

    Iznik (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1590-1600 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Fritware, polychrome underglaze painted, glazed

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Islamic Middle East, Room 42, The Jameel Gallery, case WN7, shelf 4

The main decoration on this ewer is an outsized arabesque with bold blue veins in the leaves. In the 16th century, when this piece was made, the wealth of the Ottoman rulers was reflected in sumptuous decorative arts. Their bold designs rarely included human or animal figures. This feature was deliberately designed to distinguish them from those produced in Iran at this time.

This ewer was made at the small town of Iznik, near Istanbul. The Ottoman court renewed its patronage of Iznik ceramics during the construction of the Süleymaniye mosque in Istanbul in 1550 to 1557. The first Iznik tiles were produced, and potters added a bright red to the range of colours painted under the glaze. This was achieved with a slip made from a special clay.

In the following decades, tiles of high quality were decorated in red, green and tones of blue on a white ground. Dishes, bottles and other vessels had similar decoration on white or coloured grounds.

Physical description

Jug with red band around neck, floral design on green body. Turkey (probably Iznik), late 16th century.

Place of Origin

Iznik (probably, made)


ca. 1590-1600 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Fritware, polychrome underglaze painted, glazed


Height: 26.2 cm, Diameter: 17 cm

Descriptive line

Jug with red band around neck and floral design on green body, Turkey (probably Iznik), ca. 1590-1600.

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

John Ayers, Oriental Art in the Victoria and Albert Museum (London: Philip Wilson Publishers, 1983), p. 120.

Labels and date

13-16 Dishes and Two Jugs with Paint and Red Slip
Turkey, probably Iznik

The patterns often combine Islamic and Chinese elements. The arabesques (13-15) are Islamic, while the S-shaped clouds (16) are Chinese in origin. On the two dishes the background has a wave scroll inspired by Chinese models, and the rims have versions of the Chinese rock and wave design.

Fritware painted under the glaze

Museum nos. 1141-1864, C.2016-1910, Bequest of George Salting; 1708-1855; C.1993-1910, Bequest of George Salting [Jameel Gallery]





Subjects depicted

Floral patterns


Ceramics; Containers


Middle East Section

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