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Tiled Arch

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Ottoman dynasty, Mid 16th CenturyIznik/Turkeyglazed fritware

The décor of this magnificent tiled arch is mirrored on both sides. A composite flower cut open lengthwise with an inflected so-calles saz-leaf on either side. Sweeping spiral vines with blossoms cover the base. The decoration combines both fantasy and nature. The feathered outline of leaves and flowers is typical of Iznik-décor. Ceramic tile from Iznik was produced under Ottoman rule and was renowned for the luminous palette. The colours produced by bolus armenus (red earthy clay found in Armenia with a high level of iron oxide) and an emerald green colour were introduced In the middle of the 16th century, characteristic of Iznik ceramics. It was during this time the production of this type of ceramic started to be used for manufacturing tiles, rather than the previous use in the manufacture of ceramic wares. Above all, these tiles were specifically used for interior decoration. It is not known whether this tiled arch was originally installed in a mosque or secular building.