This polychrome overglazed jug has a flared neck, ovoid body, ring foot and curved handle. It is painted in cobalt blue, tomato red and turquoise, and outlined in black under transparent glaze. It contains swaying carnations, saz leaves containing delicate tulips and small sprigs of flowers close to the base. Similar decoration is repeated on a smaller scale on the neck. Around the rim is a narrow cable border, and round the base of the neck is a narrow band of pairs of short black lines. On the front of the handle are horizontal broken lines in cobalt blue.
The second half of the 16th century witnessed an increasing diversity in Iznik ceramic forms, as well as high achievement. Jugs such as this were painted with a rich repertoire of motifs on crisp white ground, clear transparent glaze and vivid colours, creating a harmonious decorative scheme. The court design studio, headed by Kara Memi, provided a repertoire of naturalistic motifs, including tulips, roses, hyacinths, narcissi and other flowers, cypress and pomegranate trees, and branches of prunus blossom. They became the principal motifs of Ottoman art.
Bilgi, Hulya. Dance of Fire : Iznik Tiles and Ceramics in the Sadberk Hanım Museum and Ömer M. Koç Collections. Istanbul: Sadberk Hanim Museum, 2009. Cat.147, p.262.