Çanakkale Ceramic Figure
This ceramic rendering of an ‘Efe’, a leader of the Ottoman irregular soliders and guerillas from the Aegean Region of modern-day Turkey, sits on a detachable stand and pot. It is decorated with splashing, mottling and drip-painting techniques. Potters who worked in Çanakkale, a town in present-day north-western Turkey, created objects which are related to those produced in major centres – namely, Iznik and Kutahya – and to the ‘folk’ arts of Anatolia. Technically, artists used a clay-based putty (red earthenware), slipping and glazing over paint, and mostly glazes in shades of green, deep purple and ivory. Many examples of these types of works can be found in the Suna and Inan Kiraç Collection of Çanakkale Ware, Kaleiçi, including an example of a kneeling ‘Efe’ figure (Altun, p. 127, Fig. 188). Like our piece, it is decorated with dashes of white slip, green and purple paint, yet the figure is missing his dangling legs and the original stand he would have sat on. Occupying an intermediary position between the high arts of the Ottoman era and the creativity of quotidian potters, pieces such as these simultaneously display the charms of Ottoman pottery alongside the ethnographical potential of folk art.
Altun, A. Çanakkale Ceramics, The Suna and Inan Kiraç Mediterranean Civilisations Research Institute, The Vehbi Koç Foundation, No.1, Istanbul, 1996.