Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Star-Shaped Tile

Object Name:
Star-shaped tile
Date:
13th–14th century
Geography:
Made in 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:
41.165.23
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455
This eight-pointed star tile was once part of a panel of star- and cross-shaped tiles adorning the walls of an Ilkhanid building. Probably produced in the ceramic center of Kashan in Central Iran, the tile displays many characteristics typical of this site. A donkey painted in cobalt stands amid plants, with mostly illegible Persian poetry framing the scene. The background decoration and poetic verses that run along the border are rendered in luster.
Inscription: According to A. M. Schimmel, Sept. 1985:

clear are the words---"...my heart in the gratitude of the beautiful (or 'good') ones. The world becomes without luster before the beautiful cheek, ....Darkness appeared, that means, ... the Water of Life is in the darkness."

Then follows a quatrain, but mostly illegible, the second line beginning with the words "Oh Khwaja!"
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, New York (until 1941; gifted to MMA)
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