(The country of Turkey and its rich cultural history involve many cultural influences from both East and West and with origins begining approximately ten thousand years ago. The particular concern of this book and its author and research team chose to examine specifically the historical period between the dates of 1480 and 1680. This in-depth study and survey of these 200 years of early ceramic production follow the very origins, historical, cultural and artistic/decorative infuences found in nature or even from outside sources, from other lands, other people, other times. Izmik ceramics have been celebrated for thousands of years for this amalgamation of infuences, yet remaining totally individualistic in their own style, creativity and Turkish origins. ) İznik ceramics has a very privileged place in the world of antiques, and this 200-year segment of history of the Iznik ceramics will be discussed within four main periods in time. The purpose of this book is also to dispel any incorrect information from past academic sources, to show trends in the stylistic artistry that helps to date ceramics of these periods more correctly and to explain why author believes he is correct in his assumptions. Knowing the chronology of motifs used in these early, ancient periods, hopefully, will assist colletors, dealers, auction houses and students of history and decorative arts in dating pieces one finds around the world. The science of dating anything is essential in an academic setting as well as the commercial world. Dating plays a vital role in properly describing and valuating any property.) These four main areas of discussion and historical periods highly influencing early Iznik Ceramics are listed as follows: : açılan paranteze dikkat
1- Baba Nakkaş period 1480-1535
2- Şah Kulu period 1535-1557
3- Kara Memi period 1557-1610
4- Falling and down period 1610-1680
Especially until 1585, Iznik ceramics workshops are mainly controlled by the palace and they worked so hard for the palace requirements. For the production plan, first the Nakkaşhane sends the pattern, control all the production phases, help to find the raw materials, and at the end maket he payment. Mimar Sinan, the chief architect of the palace also responsible for Iznik workshops. It shows us that Iznik ceramics are how much importance for the palace. Iznik workshops are take care of the palace orders at the right time delivery. If they have free time, they will take orders out of palace.
“Dating criteria” is very important to investigate the periods, and to determine an accurate date. For example, several researchers did their comments by looking at the quality of the dough, glazing techniques, and the form of objects. since the 15th century, Iznik craftsmen start to using to add quartz to the dough, and they produced several trial objects in different quality, thinness, weight and form. Try to dating by only looking at the raw condition of the potteries which produced between 1480-1550, error of the date rate is very high. Some of scholars and researces chose this way and they make big mistakes and fall into error when dating. Another and important mistake is there are too few publications about Iznik ceramics. Especially museums, auction houses and important collectors prepared their catalogues just by looking at a few resource books about Iznik which are published between 1950-1990. So some of wrong information came to present day. Because the comments in these books are copies of each other and show no significant difference.
We have to pay attention to colors, compositions, patterns, motifs and forms of objects. Because these are the most important facts of the dating. Some colors used in certain periods. The palace master craftman and his team prepared and send patterns, motifs and compositions to Iznik.
The time of craftman’s living and working gives us an exact dating. Some motifs are historical signature. From time to time, Iznik craftmen and artist made special productions apart from palace. Also this is another fact that help us for dating.
One of the different and very important result in our research is about the patterns. The palace designers worked very hard on plant motifs when they prepared their compositions. Ants and caterpillars are on the branch, Leaf structure and flowers that seems in the nature are transferred to the object without error. Besides almost all the flowers are drawn with their original size. It shows us very clearly that the pattern is belong what kind of flower is it. So some of the flowers descriptions are wrong and this mistake came to present day
These wrong descriptions are not only seems in plant compositions, it seems also other important motifs. 32 patterns are explained in 63 different and incorrect well know names, and even some of the motifs are not noticed at all. The period of these 63 different and incorrect detection is as follows:
Baba Nakkaş Period: 27 different and incorrect detections.
Şah Kulu Period: 14 different and incorrect detections.
Kara Memi Period: 22 different and incorrect detections.
This book is the product of a study to answer these questions with all the evidences.
Details are very important when drawing the patters, for example you can see little ants and also ant’s sensors drawing on the branch of a flower which called rose until today. (Look at the uppest band on this page which ant application on the plate of the cross section) But why not seen any thorns?!… Why not drawn any thors? A daisy’s “Asteraceae” branches “feathery” structure drawing on an object which is an extremly hard practice (Picture 174), Why there is no thorn when drawing the rose?!…All of the above is to say that this flower is not, in fact, a rose.
For the readers to understand the period descriptions and all facts of informations easy and clearly, at the beginning of all sections under “Secrets Under Underglaze” they will see the correct descriptions with detail evidences about the wrong informations in that period. At the second section, with this knowledge the reader has oportunity to make comments on the sample objects images. We worked very extremly fastidious when preparing the comments at the bottom of the image content for helping and showing all the details to the reader.
One of the most important problem we see is dating. The form of the object, quality of the dough, colors and motifs compositions, brush techniques, contour drawings, and dozens of different facts plays a role in terms of dating. To compansate the dating errors, auction houses keeping dating margin very wide. For example (The first half od 16th century, early 17th century, between 1550-1570). It also seens in museum catalogs. In our book Secrets under Underglaze, we identified and determined 153 dating criteria. At the end of the last section you can see the dating criteria table. Looking at the dating criteria by this knowledge, it will be very easy to find the production date.
By this way, dating reduced 5 years period in between (1520-1600) this 80 years. Between (1480-1500) and (1600-1680) dating reduced 10 years period.
Despite all of this study, there are about 3% the answer still have not found the exact date and pattern.
Now by this knowledge we can go into periodic reviews.