Iznik earthenware

Iznik earthenware

Iznik was the main distribution center for high quality tin-glazed earthenware pottery made in present day western Turkey from the late 15th century until the beginning of the 18th century.  Thus, the ware type has been given the generic name “Iznik.” It is also known as fritware or stonepaste because of quartz sand and finely ground glass inclusions in the clay. Iznik vessels were formed, coated with a white slip, bisque fired, decorated, and finally, glost fired. The ware flourished in the 1500s, and gradually began to decline in quality and quantity from the beginning of the 17th century until 1719, when production ceased. The few James Fort sherds were recovered from redeposited soils used to construct the Civil War fort in 1861.


Fabric: The fabric is chalky, compact, and buff colored. Visible under magnification are numerous quartz sand inclusions.  A large chuck of glass is evident in one sherd from James Fort.

Glaze: Sherds are glazed with lead glazes containing tin oxide, which appear opaque and cream colored.  Surfaces, slightly iridescent from oxidation in the ground, are chalky textured.

Decoration: Flanged-rim dish sherds from Jamestown are hand painted under the glaze with Chinese clouds and scrolls in polychrome colors of sage green from copper oxide, pastel purple from manganese oxide, and blue from cobalt oxide.

Form: Found in flanged rim dish form.

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