Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Twelve-Pointed Star-Shaped Tile

Object Name:
Star-shaped tile
A.H. 846/A.D. 1442–43
Attributed to Iran, Khargird
Stonepaste; polychrome glaze within black wax resist outlines (cuerda seca technique)
H. 15 7/8 in. (40.3 cm) W. 15 7/8 in. (40.3 cm) D. 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Philip M. Lydig, 1917
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455
This star‑shaped tile with interlaced design once graced the walls of the west iwan (vault) of the Madrasa al‑Ghiyathiyya, a religious school completed in 846/1442–43 in the city of Khargird in northeastern Iran. This example was executed in the so‑called cuerda seca (dry cord) technique wherein a greasy material separates the various colored glazes. During the firing process, the greasy line melts, leaving behind an unglazed band between the glazed areas.
Madrasaat Khargird, Iran (from about 1445); Philip M. Lydig, New York (until 1917; gifted to MMA)
Washington. Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. "Timur and the Princely Vision. Persian Art and Culture in the Fifteenth Century," April 14, 1989–July 6, 1989, no. 23.

Los Angeles. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Timur and the Princely Vision. Persian Art and Culture in the Fifteenth Century," August 13, 1989–November 5, 1989, no. 23.

New York. Hagop Kevorkian Fund Special Exhibitions Gallery. "Persian Tiles," May 4, 1993–January 2, 1994, no. 34.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Nature of Islamic Ornament Part III: Geometric Patterns," March 17, 1999–July 18, 1999, no catalogue.

Allemagne, Henry-Rene d'. "Trois Mois de Voyage en Perse." In Du Khorassan au Pays des Backhtiaris. Vol. I-IV. Paris: Hachette et cie, 1911. vol. II, p. 42, ill., Shows tile paneling from the mosque of Khaf (Khorasan), attributed to the 16th century, the central tile being almost identical in design to this one.

Seherr-Thoss, Sonia P. "Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey." In Design and color in Islamic architecture. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1968. See for probable position of this or similar tiles.

Jenkins-Madina, Marilyn. "Islamic Pottery: A Brief History." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, New Series, vol. 40, no. 4 (Spring 1983). no. 38, pp. 1, 34, ill. pl. 38 (color).

Lentz, Thomas W., and Glenn D. Lowry. "Persian Art and Culture in the Fifteenth Century." In Timur and the Princely Vision. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1989. no. 23, pp. 88, 90, 333, ill. p. 90 (color).

Carboni, Stefano, and Tomoko Masuya. Persian Tiles. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. no. 34, p. 39, ill. (b/w).

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