Collection online

tile

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    OA+.1123

  • Description

    Eight-pointed star tile, repaired with a fragment of another tile. Fritware (stonepaste), painted in blue, turquoise and lustre over an opaque white glaze. The central field is et in the open, with flowers, foliage and a plump bird. It depicts a seated figure and a second, stooping, figure who is pouring wine from a bottle into an open bowl supported on a tripod. Both are wearing richly patterned tunics with hats with back flaps and feathers. Two smaller faces behind probably represent attendants. The inscription around the border contains a number of elements: verses of Persian poetry, a statement that it was made in Kashan and the date are followed by a phrase in Arabic. The lower right edge has been broken off and replaced by a fragment of another tile showing the beginnings of a verse from the Shahnameh.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1338-1339 (AH 739)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 21.2 centimetres
    • Width: 21.6 centimetres
    • Thickness: 1.6 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        Naskh
      • Inscription Position

        border
      • Inscription Language

        Persian
      • Inscription Translation

        Verses of poetry / made in Kashan AH 739
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        Naskh
      • Inscription Position

        border
      • Inscription Language

        Arabic
      • Inscription Translation

        May God protect it from the vicissitudes of time
  • Curator's comments

    By the thirteenth century glazed tiles were widely used in Iran to decorate the facades and interiors of both religious and secular buildings. In addition to monochrome glazed tiles, lustre star and cross tiles enjoyed increasing favour from the beginning of the thirteenth century well into the next century. In mosques, mausolea and religious schools ('madrasas') the Muslim injunction against the use of human imagery resulted in star tiles with non-figurative decoration and borders of Qur'anic inscriptions. By contrast, tiles with human and animal figures and well-known verses from Persian literature adorned the interiors of secular buildings.

    The general theme of a number of tiles from the British Museum collections produced in Kashan at the end of the 13th century is epicurean pleasure, such as romance (1878.1230.561), eating (OA+. 1123) and drinking (G.229).

    On the reverse of this object is a rectangular paper label which reads '21', printed in black with a larger paper label reading '24' written in black ink in Persian numbers, '153' written in red ink and '1459' written in pencil. The objects furthermore has a red seal.

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  • Bibliography

    • Komaroff & Carboni 2002 126 bibliographic details
    • Blurton 1997 250 bibliographic details
    • Ward 2014 31 bibliographic details
    • Hayward 1976 383 bibliographic details
    • Hobson 1932b fig.117 bibliographic details
    • Watson 1985 fig.122 bibliographic details
    • Porter 1995 fig.35 bibliographic details
    • Pope 1938 pl.722.F bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2014 20 Feb-18 May, London, Courtauld Gallery, 'Court and Craft in Medieval Mosul: A Masterpiece of Arab Metalwork'
    2003 13 Apr-27 Jul, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), 'The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia, 1256-1353'
    2002-2003 5 Nov-16 Feb, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 'The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia, 1256-1353'

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Associated titles

    • Associated Title: Qur'an
    • Associated Title: Shahnameh
  • Acquisition date

    1975

  • Department

    Middle East

  • Registration number

    OA+.1123

Tile (star). 8 pointed, with mongol ruler and attendant wine pourer over tripod with bird. Made of grey stained and cobalt, turquoise decorated and olive glazed pottery.

Tile (star). 8 pointed, with mongol ruler and attendant wine pourer over tripod with bird. Made of grey stained and cobalt, turquoise decorated and olive glazed pottery.

Image description

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Object reference number: RRM86

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