Incorrect Username, Email, or Password
This object does not yet have a description.

Gallery Text

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, three imperial powers dominated the Islamic world—the Ottomans, the Safavids, and the Mughals. Militarily, the Ottomans were the most formidable, and their realm was the most extensive. With the capital in Istanbul, the empire spread at its height to Africa, Europe, and Asia. Despite the empire’s diversity, the Ottomans developed a remarkably unified artistic idiom. The court established a design studio whose models were disseminated to court workshops specializing in particular media. Two artists who directed the design studio during the sixteenth century—Shahquli and Kara Memi—created distinct styles that defined Ottoman visual art for centuries.

Working with court designs, ceramic artists in Istanbul and Iznik experimented with an increasing range of colors from the late fifteenth through the sixteenth century. The taste for the blue-and-white palette of Chinese porcelain expanded to include turquoise, then purple and sage green, and ultimately the famous bright red and emerald green. In the sixteenth century Ottoman rulers preferred Chinese porcelain for their tableware, though the wealthy favored Iznik ceramics, which were also exported in great quantities to Europe.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Large Brush Rest in the Form of Five Mountain Peaks and with Persian Inscription Reading "Khama Dan" (Brush Rest)
Artists' Tools
Work Type
brush stand
Zhengde period, 1506-1521
Creation Place: East Asia, China, Jiangxi province, Jingdezhen
Ming dynasty, 1368-1644
Persistent Link


Level 2, Room 2550, Art from Islamic Lands, The Middle East and North Africa
View this object's location on our interactive map

Physical Descriptions

Blue-and-white ware: porcelain with decoration painted in underglaze cobalt blue; underglaze cobalt blue mark reading "Da Ming Zhengde nian zhi" within a double square on the base
Blue-and-white ware
H. 11.2 x W. 22.7 x D. 5.6 cm (4 7/16 x 8 15/16 x 2 3/16 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel B. Grimson, New York (by 1983), gift; to Fogg Art Museum, 1983.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel B. Grimson
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art

The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request.

Exhibition History

  • Transformations: Asia East and West, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 12/19/1992 - 02/14/1993
  • 32Q: 2550 Islamic, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

  • Google Art Project

Verification Level

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at