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Table

  • Place of origin:

    Iznik (made)
    Istanbul (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1560 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wood, inlaid with ebony and mother of pearl; with fritware ceramic top, painted under the glaze

  • Museum number:

    C.19-1987

  • Gallery location:

    Islamic Middle East, Room 42, The Jameel Gallery, case 7

This type of wooden table with a ceramic tile top held trays of food and drink. It would have used in an Ottoman palace, set before guests who sat on a low bench, or divan, built against the walls.

Many large polygonal tiles survive from the Ottoman period, but this example is one of the very few that still serves its original purpose as a table top. It was made in Iznik, north-west Anatolia, which was known as a centre of ceramic production.

Physical description

Body of the table: wood inlaid with ebony and mother of pearl; the top: fritware ceramic painted under the glaze. The tile has twelve sides, but the table is constructed with spandrel-like joins between the legs so that it stands on six legs.

Place of Origin

Iznik (made)
Istanbul (made)

Date

ca. 1560 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Wood, inlaid with ebony and mother of pearl; with fritware ceramic top, painted under the glaze

Dimensions

Height: 48 cm, Diameter: 63 cm

Descriptive line

Table made of wood faced with ebony, ivory and mother-of-pearl, the table top a twelve-sided Iznik tile, Turkey (Iznik and Istanbul), ca. 1560.

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

Tim Stanley ed., with Mariam Rosser-Owen and Stephen Vernoit, Palace and Mosque: Islamic Art from the Middle East, London, V&A Publications, 2004; p. 103, plate 121
Baker, Malcolm, and Brenda Richardson (eds.), A Grand Design: The Art of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London: V&A Publications, 1999.

Labels and date

Tile-top Table
Turkey, Iznik and Istanbul
About 1560

Many large polygonal tiles survive from the Ottoman period, but this is one of the very few that still serves its original purpose, as a table top. In Ottoman palaces, guests sat on a low bench, or divan, built against the walls. Trays of food and drink were set before them, resting on tables of this type.

Wood faced with ebony, ivory and mother-of-pearl; fritware painted under the glaze

Museum no. C.19-1987 [Jameel Gallery]

Materials

Wood; Mother of pearl; Fritware; Ebony

Techniques

Marquetry; Underglazing

Categories

Ceramics; Furniture; Islam

Collection

Middle East Section

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