The use of the fish-scale pattern which covers the ground of this piece was first used to decorate a jug in the form of a fish in the Benaki Museum, Athens, dating from the 1520s (Inv. no 10; Nurhan Atasoy and Julian Raby: Iznik, the Pottery of Ottoman Turkey, London, 1989, pl.124, p.106). The scale pattern was almost certainly originally inspired by its use in Yuan Chinese blue and white porcelain. One dish in the Topkapi Palace has cusped panels of this design coupled with so many elements including a spiralling ground and a wave and rock border that it is difficult not to think that it was a major influence on the designers of Iznik pottery (Regina Krahl: Chinese Ceramics in the Topkapi Saray Museum, London, 1986, no.552, p.489, col.pl.p.387). The use of a fish-scale field design can also be seen in Islamic art on a 15th century twin dragon-headed candlestick from Khorasan in the David Collection (Kjeld von Folsach: Islamic Art, Copenhagen, 1990, no.346, p.207).
The practice of using alternating panels separated by arabesques leaves or saz leaf motifs, as seen in this example, became very popular between 1570 to 1585. This technique can be seen in a jug in the Adda Collection (Bernard Rackham: Islamic Pottery and Italian Maiolica, London, 1959, no.174, p.43 and pl.74A). It can also be found on a water bottle in the British Museum (inv. no.G.1983.83; Atasoy and Raby: op.cit, pl.745), dating to 1580-85. Both share the same alternating blue and green scale panels and bole highlights in the separating arabesques. The same black painted meander pattern is also visible on the foot. Another water bottle in the British Museum (inv.no.G. 1983.116; Atasoy and Raby: op.cit, pl.743), dating to the same period, also has alternating panels but in cusped medallions. Common to all three bottles however, is the knop at the centre of the neck and a step at the junction of the neck and body, features which indicate the influence of metalwork, which are absent on most of the earliest bottles made at Iznik. A slightly later Ottoman silver mounted zinc bottle, made for the court at Istanbul, sold in these Rooms 12 October 2004, lot 126, demonstrated the metal form.