Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Star-Shaped Tile

Object Name:
Star-shaped tile
Date:
13th–14th century
Geography:
Iran, probably Kashan
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Stonepaste; inglaze painted in blue and turquoise and luster-painted on opaque white glaze
Dimensions:
8 x 8 in. (20.3 x 20.3 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics-Tiles
Credit Line:
H.O. Havemeyer Collection, Gift of Horace Havemeyer, 1941
Accession Number:
41.165.13
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455
Eight-pointed star-shaped tiles often bear Arabic and Persian inscriptions that contain poetry or Qur’anic verses. This particular tile is inscribed with a segment of the Throne Verse, also known as the Ayat-al-Kursi (2:255). The verse, which is thought to have protective properties, is perhaps the most common to be found on objects in many media and time periods (08.169.4; 1978.348.2; 2003.241).This tile would have originally been part of a panel of star- and cross-shaped tiles on an Ilkhanid building, similar to the way it is arranged now. The decoration of such tiles in luster was a complicated technique in which opaque white, blue and turquoise glazes were applied to the ceramic body for the first firing and a copper luster was applied for a second firing. During this period in Iran, lusterware was primarily produced in the city of Kashan.
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, New York (until 1941; gifted to MMA)
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