This splendid charger was made in the town of Iznik for the Ottoman court in Istanbul. Starting in the 1480s, the ceramic industry at Iznik supplied the court with porcelain-like pottery decorated with designs sent by artists as stencils. These artists were inspired, in part, by blue-and-white porcelains imported from China and collected by the sultan. The Chinese porcelains were reserved for special occasions, while the pottery from Iznik was used in the palace kitchens for the daily food service. This charger is unique among the rare, surviving early pottery from Iznik, because it is entirely covered in a swirling Chinese floral pattern rather than the usual arabesques.

From Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts 89 (2015)
Artist Islamic, Turkish
  • Charger
Date between 1480 and 1500
Medium Underglaze-painted fritware
Dimensions Overall: 16 inches (40.6 cm)
Credit Line Museum Purchase, Robert H. Tannahill Foundation Fund
Accession Number 2006.58
Department Islamic Art
On View Islamic N120, Level 1 (see map)