Name of Object:



Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Holding Museum:

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow Museums

About Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow Museums, Glasgow

Date of Object:

Hegira 950–55 / AD 1545–50

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Stone-paste (fritware) painted blue, green and purple under a transparent glaze.


Diameter 30 cm, height 12 cm

Period / Dynasty:



Damascus, Syria.


A shallow, footed, stone-paste (fritware) dish belonging to the group of so-called 'Iznik'-style ceramics although its place of production was Damascus in Syria. The pale apple-green colouring – not the emerald-green of Iznik – is one of the distinctive features of this group of Damascus-produced 'Iznik' ceramics. This shallow dish is mounted on a cylindrical foot that flares slightly at the base. Both the underside of the dish and the surface of the foot are decorated. The pattern comprises a free naturalistic spray of pale aubergine-purple carnations, with pale apple-green stems and blue leaves. Two simple and very thin geometric bands surround the rim of the dish. The underside is decorated with four blue and green flower sprays, and the foot of the dish is decorated with a band of alternating blue flowers with green leaves.

Ottoman architectural projects in Syria during the AH 950s / AD 1550s encouraged the establishment or an Iznik-offshoot ceramic-tiles industry in Damascus. Ceramic tiles were produced to decorate the Sulaymaniya Mosque, the Selimiye Madrasa, the Darwishiya Mosque and Shrine, the Sinaniye Mosque, and the Zawiya of Sa'd al-Din. These same tile-manufacturing workshops soon began to make tablewares too. It is thought that the potters recruited to decorate the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem (completed in AH 963 / AD 1556), remained in Syria and played a role in the development of this local Syrian style of 'Iznik' ceramics.

View Short Description

When the Ottomans embarked on architectural projects in Syria, they set up potteries in Damascus to produced ceramic tiles for these monuments. The potters were resettled in Damascus for this purpose. In addition to tiles, a whole range of vessels including this dish was produced in the Iznik style.

How date and origin were established:

Stylistic analysis: the pale apple-green colour is a distinctive feature of 'Iznik'-style ceramics made in Damascus during the 950s / 1550s.

How Object was obtained:

Donated to the Museum in 1903.

How provenance was established:

The pale apple-green colour is a distinctive feature of 'Iznik'-style ceramics made in Damascus during the 950s / 1550s.

Selected bibliography:

Atasoy, N. and Raby, J., Iznik: The Pottery of Ottoman Turkey, London, 1994.

Lane, A., Later Islamic Pottery: Persia, Syria, Egypt, Turkey, London, 1971.

Rosser-Owen, A Web-Based Teaching Course on Islamic Ceramics, Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, 2002.

Citation of this web page:

Noorah Al-Gailani "Dish" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2019.;ISL;uk;Mus04;28;en

Prepared by: Noorah Al-GailaniNoorah Al-Gailani

Noorah Al-Gailani is Curator for Islamic Civilisations at Glasgow Museums, Scotland. With a BA in Interior Design from the College of Fine Arts, Baghdad University and three years' experience in design and folk art preservation, she moved to the UK in 1992. On completing her MA in Museum Studies at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London in 1994, she worked as Project Officer at the Grange Museum of Community History documenting the presence of Muslim communities in the London Borough of Brent. In 1995 she was Assistant Curator, Ancient Monuments Laboratory, English Heritage, and in 1996 became Curator for John Wesley's House and the Museum of Methodism in London. She co-authored The Islamic Year: Surahs, Stories and Celebrations (Stroud: Hawthorn Press, 2002) for non-Muslim children. Since 2003 she has been based at The Burrell Collection in Glasgow, working across the city's museums to interpret Islamic art and culture, ancient and modern, through research, exhibitions and educational activities.

Copyedited by: Mandi Gomez

MWNF Working Number: UK4 32


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See also

Virtual Visit Exhibition Trail

EARLY OTTOMAN ART - Legacy of the Emirates


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