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Iznik dish with a donkey
SKAZsz 2261 MNW
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The decorative motifs of this dish comprise a centrally positioned figure of a donkey surrounded by four birds and flowers, with a geometric plant pattern along the rim. The usual repertory of zoomorphic decorations upon Iznik ceramics comprises birds, lions, and rabbits, but no donkeys; accordingly, this choice of decoration is highly unusual, if not unique.

History of the Object
In the Muslim culture, the donkey is regarded as a beneficial animal useful to man, but also as a symbol of uncouthness and lack of manners. In the context of Turkish literature, the donkey evokes Hodja Nasreddin, the hero of many tales, depicted in many miniatures as a bearded man with a turban upon his head rising astride a donkey. The decorative scheme of this plate may be a reference to the plot of a specific story.

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Type
Decorative Art 
Materials
Quartz paste 
Measurements
Height 5.3 cm., diameter 26.5 cm. 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Iznik, Turkey 
Geography
Turkey 
Time period
AD 17th century ~ AD 17th century 
Creation date
17th century  
Function
Tableware, household utensil. 
Acquisition
Donated by Czesław Domaradzki in 1950.  
Copyright
Copyright Ⓒ National Museum in Warsaw 
Acknowledgements
National Museum in Warsaw 
Owner
National Museum in Warsaw (state property) 
Museum
National Museum in Warsaw 
Credit line
Courtesy of the National Museum in Warsaw 

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