In the seventeenth century, Iranian imitations of Chinese blue-and-white export porcelain increased markedly. Using a stonepaste body instead of porcelain, Safavid potters synthesized Chinese Ming idioms with local tastes and created vessels such as this dish. At the center, two intertwined dragons grapple with each other, forming a six‑pointed star against a concentric wave pattern. While in Chinese mythology the dragon is a beneficent symbol, in Iran it is a fearsome, poison‑breathing creature.
Marking: On the underside, in blue: [imitation of a Chinese mark].
[ Farhadi and Anavian Company, New York, until 1965; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A King's Book of Kings: Persian Miniatures from Shah Tahmasp's Shahnama of 1528," May 4, 1972–December 31, 1972, no catalog.
Ettinghausen, Richard. "Islamic Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 33, no. 1 (Spring 1975). ill. p. 34 (b/w).
Swietochowski, Marie, and Marilyn Jenkins-Madina. Notable Acquisitions 1965–1975 (1975). p. 143, ill. (b/w).
Jenkins-Madina, Marilyn. "Islamic Pottery: A Brief History." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, New Series, vol. 40, no. 4 (Spring 1983). no. 53, p. 45, ill. pl. 53 (b/w).
Welch, Stuart Cary. The Islamic World. vol. 11. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. pp. 112-113, ill. fig. 80 (color).
de Montebello, Philippe, and Kathleen Howard, ed. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. 6th ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992. p. 325, ill. fig. 32 (color).