Rare Turkish bottles go under the hammer

26th Apr 2013

A pair of 16th century bottles made in a Turkish town famed for its ceramics have fetched a "world record" price at auction.

The rare drinking vessels fetched £758,500 when they went under the hammer. Both were crafted in Iznik, a town famous for its ceramics, in around 1575.

One of the bottles fetched £547,250 ( including buyer's premium) and the other sold for £301,250.

Prices exceeded expectations, going for more than five times Bonhams auctioneers' guide price.

Specialists attribute the price difference to one being "a rarer colour" than the other.

Iznik pottery, made between the mid-15th and 17th centuries, is renowned for its quality and detailed blue and white designs, often featuring flowers.

Alice Bailey, head of Bonhams Islamic Department, said the market for important Iznik pottery is "very strong".

Tourists who want to see similar items on tailor-made holidays suited to their love of pottery can head for the north-west Turkish town that spawned the record-breaking bottles.

Iznik Archaeological Museum is one of the town's most beautiful historical buildings and cultural sites, hosting traditional Iznik pottery and Roman antiquities and glass, bolstered with some recently-found Seljuk and Ottoman tiles.

The record-breaking bottles, sold by Cornwall's Copeland family, were used to hold wine and water during the Ottoman Empire.

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