Eight-Pointed Star-Shaped Tile

Object Name:
Star-shaped tile
13th century
Iran, Kashan
Stonepaste; inglaze painted in blue, luster-painted on opaque white glaze
Diam. 6 7/8 in. (17.5 cm) Wt. (panel group) 31lbs. (14.1 kg)
Credit Line:
Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891
Accession Number:
  • Description

    Combining star- and cross-shaped luster tiles, this panel exemplifies the type of puzzle-like wall revetments popular in the Ilkhanid period. Some of the tiles shown here display inscriptions from the Qur'an or verses of Persian poetry. Their content reveals that the tiles came from differing architectural contexts - some religious, others secular - and only later were combined to create this display.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Translation of Arabic inscription: He was staying up one night and had eaten a lot. His stomach being full, he became sleepy and tongue-tied and his limbs feeble for prayer. He said: The refuge of the needy is in the clemency of God and in the society of honest men. Let your soul hunger that you may attain Paradise! Verily, the passion for nourishment beyond measure starves the soul in this world, and with immoderation brings it to a bad end and to misery. The Prophet said: Let your stomach be empty and your soul generous.

    Three separate Arabic text from [yaḥyā Ibn] Mu‘ādh al-Rāzī, Ḥātam al-’Aṣamm and Luqmān the wise in naskhi script:

    قال معاذ الرازي رحمه الله یا معاشر الصدیقین جَوّعوا انفسکم لولیمة الفردوس فإن شهوة الطعام علی قدر تجویع الأنفس في الدنیا و قِیل لحاتم الاصم بم رُزقت الحکمة قال بخلو البطن و سخاء النفس و سهر اللیل و قال لقمان الحکیم لإبنه إذا إمتلأت المعدة نامت ا[لفکـ]ـر[ة] و خرست الحکمة و قعدت الاعضاء عن العبادة

    Mu‘ādh al-Rāzī may God have mercy on him, said: O’ you all of thrusters, starve yourselves for the banquet in paradise because the delight of food is as making yourselves hungry at vale and it says to Ḥātam al-’Aṣamm, with what you given the wisdom, he says by making stomach empty and be generous and waking of nights and Luqmān the wisdom said to his, if the stomach be full the thought slept and the wisdom be mute and the parts of body stopped praying.

    (The first and third text appear in:

    Abū Ḥāmid Moḥmmad al-Ghazzālī, ᾽Iḥyā᾽u ʻUlūm al-Dīn, 5 vols., al-Ḥalabī wa shurakāh publications, Cairo, 1968, p., and Abū Ḥayyān al- al-Tawḥīdī, al-᾽Imāta‘ wa al-Muanasa, ed.,Aḥmad al-Ṭawīlī, dār Bū Salāma publication, Tunis, 1982, Night 33).


  • Provenance

    Edward C. Moore, New York (until d. 1891; bequeathed to MMA)

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History