of deep rounded form on a narrow foot, the interior painted in underglaze blue, green and black outline with a design of a central floral spray within a border of radiating petal motifs, further floral sprays around the cavetto with interstitial stylised cloud scrolls, below the rim a frieze of interlacing flowers and leaves, the exterior with similar decoration
The delicate and sparing decoration of this bowl, combined with a faltering green, marks this bowl as unusual and experimental. The decorative motifs of floral sprays and cloud scrolls are evolved from the designs of Chinese blue and white and came to be used, prominently in the cavettos, of Iznik wares of 1525-35 (Atasoy and Raby 1989, pp.116-7, nos.165-173). These wares bear a style of decoration termed the 'Potters Style' but, unlike them, this bowl has no 'horror vacui' but embraces a spaciousness seen on just a few pieces of the 1530s (ibid., nos.212-3). It is late in this decade when the new colour, grey- or sage- green, is introduced into the Iznik palette. Its use on this bowl seems both tentative and innovative and dates the piece to the early years of its appearance.
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