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Border Tiles with 'Saz' Leaf Design

Object Name:
Tiles from a frieze
Date:
16th century
Geography:
Turkey, Iznik
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Stonepaste; polychrome painted under transparent glaze
Dimensions:
Tile a: H. 6 11/16 in. (17 cm) W. 9 1/4 in. (23.5 cm) D. 7/8 in. (2.2 cm) Tile b: H. 6 5/8 in. (16.8 cm) W. 7 1/2 in. (19.1 cm) D. 1 in. (2.5 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics-Tiles
Credit Line:
Bequest of Adrienne Minassian, 1994
Accession Number:
1997.307a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 460
These two fragmentary pieces are examples of "blue and white" Iznik tiles. The decoration presents a linear repeating pattern: a pair of feathery saz leaves grows out on the sides of a rosette-flower formed with ten multi-lobed petals. Little flowers in white and turquoise are painted over the two main motifs in dark blue. They follow the circular design of the rosette and enhance the spiral-like movement of the saz leaves.
These tiles were produced in a period when the ceramic workshops of Iznik acted as an industrial-like production center in the sixteenth century. In fact, it was under Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent (r. 1520–66) and particularly from the 1550s onwards, that the increased building activity in the Ottoman capital Istanbul, and other cities and places, demanded a massive tile fabrication in order to decorate and embellish the walls of monuments.
Adrienne Minassian, New York (until d. 1994; bequeathed to MMA)
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