This large dish, almost half a metre across, was made in Iran in the 17th century. It shows how Eastern-inspired motifs could be used in combination with other patterns to produce highly inventive designs. On this dish two pheasants sit among flowers and plants within three interlacing eight-pointed stars.
Blue-and-white Chinese porcelain, especially the wares of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), have had a lasting impact on Islamic ceramic production. They not only influenced shapes and glazing techniques, but also enriched the decorative repertoire. Floral motifs like the lotus and the peony, fantastic creatures such as dragons and phoenixes, and fluttering cloud-bands became part of the Islamic artistic vocabulary at this time.
Dish with pheasants amid foliage
Iran, 17th century
Fritware, with incised decoration and underglaze painting in blue