A rare, large Iznik pottery Bottle Turkey, 1575
Lot 76
A rare, large Iznik pottery Water Bottle (surahi) Turkey, 1575
Sold for £301,250 (US$ 506,347) inc. premium
Auction Details
A rare, large Iznik pottery Bottle Turkey, 1575
Lot Details
A rare, large Iznik pottery Water Bottle (surahi)
Turkey, 1575
with globular body, waisted neck with torus moulding and cylindrical flaring rim, on a short foot, decorated in cobalt-blue, raised-red, turquoise/green and black on a white ground, the body with a bold frieze of obliquely curving saz leaves alternating with floral sprays growing from leafy bases, with band of overlapping leaves and a band of guilloche at the top and bottom, the neck with a frieze of saz leaves alternating with floral sprays, on a short foot with a band of plait motif above, the base with collection labels
30.5 cm. high


  • Provenance: acquired in January 1919, together with lot 75, by Leonard Daneham Cunliffe from Frank Dickinson, 104 New Bond Street, London for £501 10s; Ida Copeland from 1937; and by descent to the current owner; Trelissick, Cornwall.

    This bottle is of similar shape and size to the previous lot. They also both share most elements of decorative scheme, with their bold friezes of saz and prunus, a smaller version of which is repeated on the neck on each bottle. Whereas the decoration on the saz leaves on lot 75 is restricted to the floral sprays along the spines, the saz leaves on the present lot are treated with a more detailed and feathery touch. Similar saz leaves can be found on a tankard in the Calouste Gulbenkian Collection, Lisbon (Maria D'Orey Capucho Queiroz Ribeiro, Iznik Pottery and Tiles in the Calouste Gulbenkian Collection, Lisbon, 2009, p. 63, no. 29); a dish with a lotus also in the Calouste Gulbenkian Collection (ibid, p. 62, no. 28); and on another dish with a lotus in the H. Bartels Collection, Amman (Nurhan Atasoy and Julian Raby, Iznik. The Pottery of Ottoman Turkey, London, 1989, p. 227, no. 395); all of which are dated to circa 1575.

    There was clearly an established market in Europe for so-called "Rhodian wares" when Leonard Cunliffe purchased this and the previous lot in 1919. Even at the time these bottles were produced in the second half of the 16th Century, Iznik pieces, whilst not as expensive as imported Chinese porcelain, were unusually expensive objects, treasured highly for their beauty and for the status their possession conferred on their owners. As fragile as they were costly, they were probably not always used as everyday tablewares, but in many cases would have been displayed in special built-in wall cabinets or dolap in Ottoman interiors. Examples of dolap can be seen in the garden kiosks of Topkapi Palace (Walter Denny, Iznik, The Artistry of Ottoman Ceramics, London, 2004, p. 146), which originally would have been filled with Iznik and Chinese ceramics.
  1. Oliver White
    Specialist - Islamic and Indian Art
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
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