The use of the elegant fish scale pattern which covers the ground of this dish is first found decorating a jug in the form of a fish in the Benaki Museum, Athens, which dates to the 1520's (inv.no.10, Nurhan Atasoy and Julian Raby, Iznik, the Pottery of Ottoman Turkey, London, 1989, no.451, pl.124, p.106). The scale pattern was probably inspired by early 16th century Deruta majolica although its use can be seen in Islamic art on a 15th century twin dragon headed candlestick from Khorassan in the David Collection (Kjeld von Folsach, Islamic Art, Copenhagen, 1990, no.346, p.207). In the late 1570s and 80s it became popular to enliven the background of vessels with fishscale motif, as seen here.
The practice of separating panels of fish scale with saz leaves or arabesque, as on our dish, also became popular. The technique can be seen on a water bottle in the British Museum dating to 1580-85 (inv.no.G.1983.83, Atasoy and Raby, op.cit., p.l.745). A dish of similar shallow form to ours, and also decorated in fish scale with elegant arabesques is in the Louvre (inv.OA 7880/28; 3 Capitals of Islamic Art. Masterpieces from the Louvre Collection, exhibition catalogue, Istanbul, 2008, no.38B, pp.140-41).