Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Shaped Tiles in the 'Cuerda Seca' Technique

Object Name:
Tile fragments
late 14th century
Turkey, Konya
Stonepaste; polychrome glaze within black wax resist outlines (cuerda seca technique)
Tile a: H. 18 13/16 in. (47.8 cm) W. 11 1/16 in. (28.1 cm) Wt. 23 lbs. (10.4 kg) Tile b: H. 18 1/2 in. (47 cm) W. 10 7/8 in. (27.6 cm) Wt. 19 lbs. (8.6 kg)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1908
Accession Number:
08.185a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 460
A brilliant but short‑lived episode in the history of Anatolian ceramic production was the appearance of tiles decorated in the so‑called cuerda seca ("dry cord") technique. In the cuerda seca process, thin bands of waxy resist maintain color separation between glazes during firing, but leave behind "dry cords" of unglazed tile. This technique seems to have been introduced to Turkey from Iran as early as the fourteenth century. These tiles are also distinguished by their curving shape, recalling their original placement—probably on the exterior of the polylobed tower of the Mevlana Turbesi (Tomb of Rumi) in Konya.
[ Hagop Kevorkian, New York, until 1908; sold to MMA]
Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 218, ill. fig. 143 (b/w).

Related Objects

Dirham of Ghiyath al-Din Kai Khusrau II (r. 1237–46)

Artist: Kay Khusrow II (r. 1237–45) Date: dated A.H. 641/ A.D. 1243 Medium: Silver Accession: 99.35.2392 On view in:Gallery 460

Tile with Floral and Cloud-band Design

Date: ca. 1578 Medium: Stonepaste; polychrome painted under transparent glaze Accession: 02.5.91 On view in:Gallery 460

Luster Bowl with Winged Horse

Date: late 12th century Medium: Stonepaste; luster-painted on opaque monochrome glaze Accession: 16.87 On view in:Gallery 453

Pyxis (Cylindrical Container)

Date: late 11th–early 12th century Medium: Stonepaste; luster-painted on incised, opaque white glaze Accession: 1998.298a, b On view in:Gallery 451

Prayer Rug with Triple Arch Design

Date: probably late 18th century Medium: Wool (warp, weft, and pile); symmetrically knotted pile Accession: 2009.458.11 On view in:Gallery 459