This dish is an example of both technical and symmetrical aesthetic excellence. It is possible to date this dish through its cusped medallion. Prior to the 1570's cusped medallions of this same form are recorded as containing stylised cloud bands. In 1572 however, we have the first dated set of tiles with cusped medallions which contained scrolling arabesques like the medallion on our dish. A dish previously in the Adda Collection has a medallion containing scrolling arabesques flanked on either side by a symmetrical floral spray which is very similar in design to our dish is dated to circa 1575-80, (Nurhan Atasoy and Julian Raby, Iznik: The Pottery of Ottoman Turkey, London, 1989, fig. 417, p.232).
The last quarter of the 16th Century saw the perfection of the use of the raised bole-red colour that we see employed so masterfully on this dish. The raised red colour was difficult to control and initial efforts produced mixed results. The tiles produced in circa 1561 for the Mosque of Rustem Pasha contained areas of red which were not fully controlled after firing and lost the intensity of their colour, (Walter Denny, The Mosque of Rustem Pasha and the Environment of Change, New York, 1977). The beauty of our dish though comes as a result of the perfected ability to control the contours of the bole-red to produce a precise and wonderful symmetric design. A further dish dated to 1575 which shares this masterful control of bole-red was in the Tevfik Kuyas Collection, (Nurhan Atasoy and Julian Raby, op.cit., fig. 720). The control of the design on our dish is further complemented by the strong full bodied red colour achieved in the glaze. Later attempts with bole-red would produce a glaze of a duller rust colour which does not match the intensity of our dish. Few dishes with bole-red grounds were produced. Due to the technical skill required to achieve the strength of this design, it can be assumed that only the master craftsmen of Iznik were able to produce ceramic vessels of this quality.