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    Tankard (Hanap) with Tulips, Hyacinths, Roses, and Carnations

    White ceramic cup with red and blue flowers and square handle
    CC0 Public Domain Designation

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    • White ceramic cup with red and blue flowers and square handle


    Ottoman dynasty (1299–1923), late 16th century



    About this artwork

    This cylindrical tankard (hanap) is a fine example of the ceramics produced at Iznik (located southeast of Istanbul) during the late sixteenth century. Characterized by its white body fabric, brilliant transparent glaze, and distinct decoration, Iznik pottery represents one of the most technologically refined and aesthetically arresting traditions in the history of Islamic ceramics. Here the decoration consists of a motif of hyacinths and carnations, underscored with blue tulips and red roses. The artist fully realized the rhythmic potential of alternating floral forms, exploiting the tankard’s tall, cylindrical surface to create a feeling of motion. Though the Iznik tradition seems to have been intially inspired by imported Chinese blue-and-white porcelain, by the 1550s, Iznik pottery had been transformed. Working in collaboration with the imperial Ottoman atelier in Istanbul (nakkash-hane), Iznik potters helped to create a style that epitomized an empire and was eventually sought after far from Istanbul. The tulip and carnation motif was particularly popular and appears on book bindings, paper borders, and textiles made for the Ottoman court. The craze for tulips was not limited to ornament, however. The real flowers were cultivated in Istanbul’s gardens, and the bulbs were exported to Europe. The size of this tankard even suggests that it may have once been used as a flower vase, perhaps to hold the very blossoms it depicts.

    On View

    Arts of Asia, Gallery 50




    Tankard (Hanap) with Tulips, Hyacinths, Roses, and Carnations






    Fritware with underglaze painting in blue, turquoise, red, and black


    19.6 × 15 × 10.5 cm (7 3/4 × 5 7/8 × 4 1/8 in.)

    Credit Line

    Mary Jane Gunsaulus Collection

    Reference Number


    Extended information about this artwork

    Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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