The history of fifteenth century pottery has been substantially re-ordered by the publication of a cross-disciplinary study in 1996 which combined the study of historical sources, stylistic analyses of the wares, and petrograhic analyses of the materials used (L. Golombek, R. Mason and G. Bailey: Tamerlane's Tableware, Toronto, 1996). Blue and white pottery is divided into groups and, in most cases, then attributed to different centres.
Stylistically the present dish is clearly a part of the "Tabriz" group. The drawing is fluent and free, the glaze has a large scale cracquelure through it and the shape has a very wide and shallow foot. The turquoise splashes in the glaze are even paralelled by an example from the group in the Royal Ontario Museum (Tamerlane's Tableware, col.pl.XVII).
It is thought that this group was made in Tabriz under the Turkoman and early Safavid rulers. The design on the present dish is closely related to that on two dishes in the Hermitage Museum. Each of those shows a cockerel among foliage, but in both cases the drawing is not as clear as here, and the flowers not as clearly indebted to Timurid illumination (Tamerlane's Tableware, pls.69 and 70, p.225; for the first in colour see Iran and the Hermitage (in Russian with English captions), Saint Petersburg, 2004, no.165 p.141). The finesse of drawing is closer to another dish of the group depicting a flying simurgh in the Victoria and Albert Museum (Y. Crowe: Persia and China, Safavid Blue and White Ceramics in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2002, nos. 4 and 5, p.51). Among the entire group however the present dish stands out; not only is it well drawn, but it is in outstanding condition for the group, most of which are shadows of their former selves.
For two other dishes in the same group please see lots 122 and 125.