Name of Object:



London, England, United Kingdom

Holding Museum:

Victoria and Albert Museum

About Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Date of Object:

Around hegira 975 / AD 1575

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Painted and glazed ceramic.


Height 31 cm, diameter 19.7 cm

Period / Dynasty:



Iznik, Turkey.


A vase with a wide neck, bulbous body, and low flaring foot. A narrow collar around the neck, decorated with a braided rope design, divides the vase into two areas of decoration. Both are filled with floral motifs in red, green, and blue. These include carnations, tulips, and hyacinths, all of which are shown blossoming at the ends of gently undulating green stems. The use of a brilliant emerald green is characteristic of Iznik ceramics at their peak of quality, in the 1570s. Shortly thereafter, slackening patronage and other factors led the Ottoman ceramic industry to economic and aesthetic decline. This vase, then, is a splendid token of the high point of 16th-century Ottoman ceramics.

View Short Description

A bulbous vase decorated with floral motifs which, rather than functioning as mere repeat units, are freely rendered and almost naturalistic. The use of brilliant red and emerald-green indicates that this vase was made at the height of the classical Iznik pottery industry.

How date and origin were established:

Stylistic comparison with other Iznik wares of the 1570s.

How Object was obtained:

Purchased by the Museum in 1876.

How provenance was established:

Iznik was the centre of quality ceramic production in this period.

Selected bibliography:

Atasoy, N., and Raby, J., Iznik: The Pottery of Ottoman Turkey, Istanbul/London, 1989, fig. 703.

Citation of this web page:

Barry Wood "Vase" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020.;ISL;uk;Mus02;27;en

Prepared by: Barry WoodBarry Wood

Barry Wood is Curator (Islamic Gallery Project) in the Asian Department of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He studied history of art at Johns Hopkins University and history of Islamic art and architecture at Harvard University, from where he obtained his Ph.D. in 2002. He has taught at Harvard, Eastern Mediterranean University, the School of Oriental and African Studies, and the Courtauld Institute of Art. He has also worked at the Harvard University Art Museums and the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. He has published on topics ranging from Persian manuscripts to the history of exhibitions.

Copyedited by: Mandi GomezMandi Gomez

Amanda Gomez is a freelance copy-editor and proofreader working in London. She studied Art History and Literature at Essex University (1986–89) and received her MA (Area Studies Africa: Art, Literature, African Thought) from SOAS in 1990. She worked as an editorial assistant for the independent publisher Bellew Publishing (1991–94) and studied at Bookhouse and the London College of Printing on day release. She was publications officer at the Museum of London until 2000 and then took a role at Art Books International, where she worked on projects for independent publishers and arts institutions that included MWNF’s English-language editions of the books series Islamic Art in the Mediterranean. She was part of the editorial team for further MWNF iterations: Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean Virtual Museum and the illustrated volume Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean.

True to its ethos of connecting people through the arts, MWNF has provided Amanda with valuable opportunities for discovery and learning, increased her editorial experience, and connected her with publishers and institutions all over the world. More recently, the projects she has worked on include MWNF’s Sharing History Virtual Museum and Exhibition series, Vitra Design Museum’s Victor Papanek and Objects of Desire, and Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s online publication 2 or 3 Tigers and its volume Race, Nation, Class.

MWNF Working Number: UK2 30


 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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