The bouquet of blossoming lotus stems tied with a cloud-band ribbon at the centre of this large dish, the floral spray that surrounds it, and the wave pattern on its foliated rim are faithful copies of fifteenth-century motifs popular on Chinese porcelain in the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) almost two centuries before its manufacture. In the Safavid period (1501–1722), Chinese Ming porcelains were highly coveted for their beauty and translucency, and many were given as gifts to shrines, including the one in Ardabil dedicated to Sheykh Safi al-Din, after whom the Safavid dynasty was named. Iranian potters developed this style of blue-and-white ceramic employing a dense white fritware body and cobalt-blue painting under a transparent glaze to evoke these superb gifts.
Source: Aga Khan Museum
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