Although the technology is believed to have originated in Iraq in the early ninth century and first spread westward to Egypt and Syria, lusterware became a dominant type of ceramic production in medieval Iran, possibly having spread from Egypt to Iran in the early 12th century by artisans migrating to set up workshops. Within Iran the town of Kashan was the finest and most prolific producer of lusterware. One aspect that sets Iranian lusterwares apart from their western Islamic counterparts is the remarkable frequency with which these pieces were accompanied by signatures and dates of manufacture. On the tile presented here, a depiction of a sultan surrounded by members of the court is framed by three quatrains of Persian poetry and dated to the year A.H. 608 (A.D. 1211–12). The leopard and birds may imply that the scene is set outdoors
Inscription: three quatrains in Persian and a date of A.H. 608 (A.D. 1211-12).
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, New York (by 1930–40; gifted to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Ceramic Art of the Near East," 1931, no. 48.
New York. Hagop Kevorkian Fund Special Exhibitions Gallery. "Persian Tiles," May 4, 1993–January 2, 1994, no. 7.
Mexico City. Colegio de San Ildefonso. "Arte islamico del Museo Metropolitano de Arte de Nueva York," September 30, 1994–January 8, 1995, no. 51.
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Turks: A Journey of a Thousand Years, 600–1600," January 22, 2005–April 15, 2005, fig. 25.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Rumi," October 15, 2007–March 5, 2008, no catalogue.
Dimand, Maurice S. "The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, May 12 to June 28, 1931." In Loan Exhibition of Ceramic Art of the Near East. New York, 1931. no. 48, p. 12.
Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 185, ill. fig. 117 (b/w).
Carboni, Stefano, and Tomoko Masuya. Persian Tiles. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. no. 7, p. 12, ill. (b/w).
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Daniel S. Walker, Arturo Ponce Guadián, Sussan Babaie, Stefano Carboni, Aimee Froom, Marie Lukens Swietochowski, Tomoko Masuya, Annie Christine Daskalakis-Matthews, Abdallah Kahil, and Rochelle Kessler. "Colegio de San Ildefonso, Septiembre de 1994-Enero de 1995." In Arte Islámico del Museo Metropolitano de Arte de Nueva York. Mexico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 1994. no. 51, pp. 146-147, ill. p. 147 (b/w).
Ettinghausen, Richard, Oleg Grabar, and Marilyn Jenkins-Madina. Islamic Art and Architecture 650–1250. 2nd ed. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2001. p. 177, ill. fig. 278 (color).
Roxburgh, David J., ed. Turks: Journey of a Thousand Years, 600–1600. London, New York: Royal Academy of Arts, 2005. p. 77, ill. fig. 25 (color).