Figural designs on Iznik tiles are rare. Very few other published tiles from this series are known and of these all are now in museums including the Louvre (dated to 1570, Walter B. Denny, Iznik. The Artistry of Ottoman Ceramics, London, 2004, p.186), the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge (dated circa 1575-99, http://webapps.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/explorer/index.php?oid=17585), the Freer Gallery of Art (dated early 17th century, Esin Atil, Ceramics from the World of Islam, Washington, 1973, pp.190-91), the Benaki Museum (dated 16th century, http://www.benaki.gr/eMP-Collection/eMuseumPlus?service=direct/1/ResultListView/result.t1.collection_list.$TspTitleImageLink.link=10=Scollection=SfieldValue=0=0=2=SdetailList=24=Sdetail=0=F=T=31), the Detroit Institute of Arts in Michigan, and the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in Kiev. A fifth was sold at Bonham’s 2 May 2001, lot 491 and is now In the Sadberk Hanim Museum (dated early 17th century, Hülya Bilgi, Dance of Fire, Istanbul, 2004, pp.456-57, no.456).
The confronted birds found on the surface of these tiles are almost heraldic in appearance, and in discussion of the group scholars have suggested that they represent either parrots or falcons, symbolising respectively courtly life and the garden, or alternatively the royal hunt (Denny, op.cit., p.186 and Atil, op.cit., pp.190-91). Atil suggests that the tiles were originally produced for a private dwelling as religious structures would typically employ only floral motifs, arabesques or inscriptions.