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Turkish Ceramics – A Very Brief History

Turkish Ceramics – A Very Brief History

Bringing The Past Back To Life

Here’s a brief insight into the history of Turkish Iznik ceramics, there is a wealth of information if you’d like even more detail, but for now I hope you enjoy my overview.

Iznik ceramics were produced from the 15th up to the 17th century and originals are highly collectable, selling at well established and highly regarded auction houses such as Christies and Sotheby’s.

The name ‘Iznik’ comes from the name of the town which was the site of the potteries of the Ottoman Empire.  Iznik which is also known by its ancient name Nicaea, is located around 56 miles southeast of the city of Istanbul. It is also believed that Iznik ceramics were also produced in a small town called Kuthaya which lies 123 miles from Istanbul and this is where you will find most of the modern interpretations of Iznik design style ceramics being made today and also another popular modern style of ceramic design called Relief.  The relief style features a raised surface giving texture to its colourful appearance.


Examples of Iznik Design

Tulip and Poppy Meze Plate
Hand Painted Olive Oil Bottle 
Hand Made Poppy and Tulip Bowl

The potteries that had sprung up to serve the Ottoman empire started to shift their production of Iznik ceramics to meet the demands of new wealthy European clients, much to the Ottoman empires displeasure and to keep producers working to fulfil their work, they began to put measures in place to restrict and deter this practice.  Sadly, financial and environmental pressures over the 16th and 17th century led to the demise and end of production in the town of Iznik.


Beautiful Iznik Style Daisy and Tulip Bowl

Gorgeous Handmade Hand Painted Iznik Turkish Daisy Bowl

Iznik design ceramics can be found all over the world adorning magnificent palaces, mosques and monuments not just in Turkey but in countries and cities around the world.

You can find some beautiful examples of the original Iznik ceramics dating back to the 15-17th century in museums and private collections.  The British Museum in London has over 350 stunning examples on exhibition for you to enjoy.


Iznik Design – Reborn for the Modern Era

Centuries on and thankfully, there are lots of talented artisans and artists across Turkey that have rediscovered and been inspired by the design and style of Iznik ceramics and have created their own modern day versions of this stunning art form across many everyday items, decorative objects and is being creatively reimagined for use on clothing and textiles for us all to enjoy.

You will find Iznik inspired design in everything from handmade and hand decorated Turkish plates, colourful ceramic bowls, stunning serving and meze dishes, kitchen accessories, olive oil bottles, coffee cups, wall tiles and much more…

Our website has lots of beautiful Iznik and Relief inspired ceramics for your kitchen and home, please feel free to browse for inspiration, perhaps you are looking to brighten up your home or want a thoughtful wedding, anniversary or birthday gift that will be cherished forever!