Its inner style is identified as the pottery of the Golden Horn since the discovery of many fragments in Istanbul between 1905 and 1909 in the foundations of a new post office. Fragments found at Iznik in 1984 confirm that this style was used in the latter production site, which does not exclude that similar pieces were made in Kutahya.
A fragmentary bottle kept in the British Museum is valuable to historians because it is one of very few examples of Iznik's ancient ceramics to bear a date. This date corresponds to 1529 CE, nine years after the beginning of the reign of Suleyman the Magnificent. Similar foliated spiral patterns are used at the same period as background illumination for the monogram or tughra of this Sultan.
The pottery dishes of Golden Horn type have varied proportions, both for the width of the rim and the depth of the depressed centre, undoubtedly under Venetian influence, and the foliated patterns recall the illuminated margins in the Christian manuscripts.
The decoration of the dish for sale is entirely in cobalt blue. A date around 1530 or slightly earlier is likely. Subsequent pieces often include turquoise, olive green and black. The 'Golden Horn' style disappears from Iznik and Kutahya potteries before the end of Suleyman's reign.
Intact pieces are extremely rare at auction. A tondino decorated with eight spirals on its broad rim and one spiral in its narrow depressed centre was sold for £ 210K including premium by Bonhams on October 16, 2003.
SOLD for £ 530K including premium