Name of Object:



Stockholm, Sweden

Holding Museum:

Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities (Medelhavsmuseet)

About Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities (Medelhavsmuseet), Stockholm

Date of Object:

Hegira around 1009 / AD around 1600

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Ceramic; painted and glazed.


Height 6 cm, diameter 38 cm

Period / Dynasty:



Iznik, Turkey.


The polychrome underglaze painted dish, with a broad slightly curved rim and a small flattened well, shows European influence. In the first half of the AH 10th / AD 16th century, Iznik ware, in seeking new sources of inspiration for designs and forms, included the tondino, a shape of Italian origin. The striking form of the dish under discussion derives from this type of maiolica (tin-glazed earthenware) and its Turkish imitations.
The centre of the dish is decorated with a 'quatre fleurs' design of two tulips on short stalks, four roses on long curved stems and two sprays of other flowers, all springing from a leafy tuft. The roses with their large red blossoms dominate the centre of the dish and the decoration of the rim. The rim shows radiating floral stems of alternating tulips, roses and small flowers with red blossoms. Along the border of both rim and well, a red Chinese cloud and small forms derived from the motif of Chinese waves are set between the blossoms. The floral design with black outlines is coloured in a contrast of bright, slightly running blue and green with a thick raised applied opaque red on a white background. The outside of the dish is painted with ten blue flower-like motifs on white slip. The back and bottom of the dish, except for the foot-ring, are transparent glazed.

View Short Description

Polychrome underglaze painted dish with a broad rim and a small flattened well. Roses with large red blossoms dominate the pattern of the centre and the rim. Following the Iznik style other flowers and Chinese clouds are also included. The shape of the dish shows European influence.

How date and origin were established:

The 'quatre fleurs' style was a development of the second half of the 10th / 16th century. The slightly running colours suggest a dating at the end of the 10th / 16th century – beginning of the 11th / 17th century, but not much later because of the high quality of the glaze. Atasoy and Raby dated a plate of similar shape and decoration to 1009–19 / 1600–10.

How Object was obtained:

Bequest of King Charles XV.

How provenance was established:

The floral decoration and the shape are both specific to Iznik ceramics.

Selected bibliography:

Atasoy, N. and Raby, J., Iznik: The Pottery of Ottoman Turkey, London, 1989.
Carswell, J., Iznik Pottery, London, 1998.
Müller-Wiener, M., Türkisch-Osmanische Keramik, Traunstein, 2004.

Citation of this web page:

Friederike Voigt "Dish" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2018.;ISL;se;Mus01;7;en

Prepared by: Friederike VoigtFriederike Voigt

Friederike Voigt has an MA in Iranian studies, history of art and social science and is currently working on her doctoral thesis on wall tiles in architectural decoration of Qajar Iran. Since 2004 she has been a project-related curator at the Museum for Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm for Museum With No Frontiers. She studied at Humboldt University in Berlin, at the University of Tehran and archaeology at the University of Halle-Wittenberg. She taught Persian language at several universities in Germany. She was an assistant curator at the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Cultures at the Museum of Ethnology, State Museums of Berlin. Her main fields of interest are the material culture of Iran, especially of the Qajar period, and contemporary Iranian art.

Copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: SE 08


 Artistic Introduction

 Timeline for this item

Islamic Dynasties / Period


On display in

MWNF Galleries


See also

Virtual Visit Exhibition Trail

EARLY OTTOMAN ART - Legacy of the Emirates


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