Monthly Archives: March 2013

IZNIK POTTERY FROM THE OTTOMAN, TURKEY 1480-1630

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Dr Melanie Gibson

On March 14th 2013 Dr Melanie Gibson delivered a lecture on Iznik Pottery to our group.
When Sultan Mehmed 2nd conquered Constantinople in 1453 and renamed it Istanbul, the city became the capital of the Ottoman dynasty and the court was established there. The lavish lifestyle needed large amounts of porcelain and a factory was established on the river bank, with highly qualified artisans, many brought from Iran. Early pieces copied blue and white Yuan ceramics but, as the potters became more experienced, the exquisite porcelain named Iznik was developed. This has a brilliance and whiteness of the body of the pieces, with the most detailed designs in a vivid polychrome palette of mainly flowers and birds. There was a thriving export for over 150 years that sadly declined with the ending of Ottoman rule.

Places to Visit
V&A to see their stunning collection of Iznik porcelain
Leighton House Museum – London
Ashmolean Museum – Oxford
Iznik Revival – this is a web site that has copies to sell and some information

Recommended reading
N.Atasoy & J.Raby, “Iznik: the pottery of Ottoman Turkey”. (London) 1989
J.Carswell, “Iznik Pottery” (London) 1997