This is a rare example of a serving dish produced using the Lajvardina technique. Recognisable by its use of a deep blue over-glaze applied with gold leaf and red and white painted details, this type of decoration became associated with the lapis lazuli stone from which its name derives. Developing following the Mongol invasions of the beginning of the thirteenth century, this type of technique became popular for the decoration of serving vessels and tiles. Due to the fragility of Lajvardina pottery, few examples have survived, although comparable examples can be found in Soustiel 1974, no.4 and London 1969, no.141 (collection of Kenneth Malcolm).
This particular style of construction was reserved for the celebration of ‘Haft Sin’ associated with the Persian New Year (Nowruz). Each compartment would have been used to serve an item beginning with the letter ‘sin’, notably: sabzeh (wheat or barley), samanu (sweet pudding), senjed (dried olive), seer (garlic), seeb (apple), somaq (sumac) and serkeh (vinegar).