London, England, United Kingdom
Victoria and Albert Museum
Around hegira 1031–56 / AD 1625–50
Painted and glazed ceramic.
Height 4.9 cm, diameter 31.2 cm
A deep dish with an underglaze-painted design showing a European-style sailing ship at sea, its sails billowing as it rides the cresting waves. Three tadpole-like fish are seen swimming below. In the rim of the dish, groups of simply drawn spirals, ultimately descended from the Chinese 'wave-and-rock' border pattern, reflect the oceanic theme. This dish is one of a number of similar pieces depicting sailing ships of either European or North African build. They were produced around the second quarter of the 17th century, when the Iznik ceramic industry had declined from its heyday of 50 or so years previous. Yet this plate retains considerable charm, especially the jaunty air the artist has given the ship.View Short Description
A deep dish with a representation of a ship at sea. Similar depictions of European and North African ships appear on a number of Iznik wares from the second quarter of the AH 11th / AD 17th century. Although the industry was in economic and artistic decline, examples like this retain a considerable charm.
Comparison with similar pieces of the same period.
Purchased by the Museum in 1867.
Iznik was the centre of quality ceramic production in this period.
Atasoy, N., and Raby, J., Iznik: The Pottery of Ottoman Turkey, Istanbul/London, 1989, p.280.
Lane, A., Later Islamic Pottery: Persia, Syria, Egypt, Turkey, London, 1957, pp.57–8.
Barry Wood "Plate" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;uk;Mus02;30;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 Gomez
MWNF Working Number: UK2 35
Islamic Dynasties / Period
On display in
Discover Islamic Art Exhibition(s)The Ottomans | Exporting Luxury
Virtual Visit Exhibition Trail
DownloadAs PDF (including images) As Word (text only)