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Dish

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made in Iznik, Turkey

Dish
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This ceramic dish was made in Turkey in the 16th or 17th century. Its body material consists of a small amount of white clay, ground quartz and a soda-lead frit. It is finely textured. Before firing, the vessel is covered with a fine slip of the same composition.

The dish is decorated with tulips and pinks in blue, green and enamel red. Such floral decoration and the colour scheme adopted on this object came into fashion around 1560. Interestingly, the shape of the dish imitates Renaissance metal or ceramic plates and it is likely that this object was in fact intended for the European market.

Flowers were a great passion in Ottoman times. The tulip in particular was much favoured and celebrated in the arts as well as in poetry and social custom. It was from Ottoman lands that the tulip reached Europe and became a trademark of Dutch flower cultivation.

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