• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7615

    Art of The Islamic And Indian Worlds

    7 October 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 400



    Price Realised  


    The square tile with white ground painted in manganese, turquoise, cobalt-blue, bole-red and green with scrolling vine sprouting flowerheads, leaves and blue and red pomegranates, small chips in the glaze, particularly around the edges
    9 7/8 x 9½in. (25.2 x 24cm.)

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Although the pomegranate motif is very common in the decorative repertoire of Iznik tiles, examples being found in the Rustem Pasha mosque (1561), the present tile shows a highly stylized fruit, split by a wavy shape from which seeds are flowing, cut into halves by dark red stripes, growing on branches painted with a dark grey. It appears that tiles of this design once decorated one of the rooms of the Sarospatac Castle built by Prince of Transylvania George I Rakoczy in Hungaria (1639-1641) (V. Gervers-Molnar, 'Turkish tiles of the 17th century and their export', Fifth International Congress of Turkish Art, Akademia Kiado, Budapest, 1978, p.381). A letter from the ambassador of Prince Rakoczy in Istanbul, dated from December 14, 1640, suggests that the pattern for these tiles was provided from Transylvania to a Turkish tile-maker: 'The pattern is still with the tile maker. They will make as many as you need right away, if your Excellency so orders the kahya bey (Fifth International Congress of Turkish Art, op. cit., p. 367). The design of the Sarospatak tiles was probably repeated, at least on one occasion, for a Turkish customer; a fragment is in the Royal Ontario Museum (acc. No. K. 464). Some of these tiles are now in the Hungarian National Museum of Budapest.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.