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 late 10th–early 11th centuries / AD late 16th–early 17th centuries

Museum Inventory Number:

NM 0047/1899

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Ceramic; painted and glazed.


Height 6 cm, diameter 30.5 cm

Period / Dynasty:



Iznik, Turkey.


The deep pottery dish has a flat foliated rim and is decorated in underglaze cobalt-blue, bright turquoise, green, relief opaque red and black for the outlines. The centre of the dish shows a symmetrical design of two curving red dotted tulips and two smaller red flowers on stalks clasped together with a pointed, scalloped medallion between them. Small roses and other flowers springing from a leafy tuft fill the area underneath. The shape of the dish, with a foliated rim, and the stylised pattern of waves breaking on rocks on the rim are of Chinese origin. The latter developed into a popular Iznik design with a tendency to stylisation during the AH 10th / AD 16th century. The rocks and waves, originally painted in different colours, are both blue on this dish, a characteristic feature of later Iznik ware. The pointed, scalloped medallion developed in the courtly ateliers, used to decorate textiles or tiles, occurred on pottery from the AH 980s / AD 1580s. Vessels from the second half of the AH 10th / AD 16th century are mostly not imperial commissions, even if they show designs of the courtly ateliers. The potters, producing for the local market, created their own compositions by combining single elements of various styles and sources. On the back the dish is painted with four blue coloured tulips alternating with four rosettes on a white background. The transparent glaze on the back is slightly yellow coloured.

View Short Description

Polychrome underglaze painted dish with a foliated rim. In the centre is a symmetrical design of flowers and a medallion. The single elements, originally designed in the courtly workshops, were combined in a pattern by the potters themselves. The wave and rock motif on the rim is of Chinese origin.

How date and origin were established:

The scalloped medallion as an element of decoration occurred on pottery from the 980s / 1580s.

How Object was obtained:

Purchased with government funds from the collection of F. R. Martin.

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, 2021.;ISL;se;Mus01;8;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 09


 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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