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Panel of Four Calligraphic Tiles

Object Name:
Tile panel
14th–early 15th century
Stonepaste; glazed and carved
H. 4 7/8 in. (12.4 cm) W. 22 1/4 in. (56.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Leon B. Polsky and Cynthia Hazen Polsky Gift, in honor of Patti Cadby Birch, 1999
Accession Number:
Not on view
Epigraphic friezes executed in ceramic tile were integral to the decorative program of interiors in both Morocco and Spain. They were situated near eye-level, between a dado of tile mosaic and upper-wall decoration of carved stucco. These tiles were first entirely coated in purplish-black glaze, which was carved away leaving behind the calligraphy on a background of foliate scrolls.
Inscription: Inscription in Arabic in thuluth script:
نعم الرفیق السعد والتوفیق
What excellent companions are happiness and good fortune

This proverd is from Badi’ al-Zaman Abi al-Fazl Ahmad Ibn al-Husain al-Hamadaniبدیع الزمان أبي الفضل أحمد بن الحسین الهمذاني and appears in:
Abu Mansur al-Tha‘ālibī , al-‘Ijāz wa’l-’Ijāz , ed. Ibrahim Salih, Dar al-Bash’ir publication, p. 145. (the word السعد happiness does not appear in this reference).
A. Ghouchani :2012
[ Spink & Sons Ltd., London, until 1999; sold to MMA]
Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 58, no. 2 (Fall 2000). p. 16, ill. (color).

Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 42, p. 74, ill. p. 74 (color).

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