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Shaped Tiles in the 'Cuerda Seca' Technique

Object Name:
Tile fragments
Date:
late 14th century
Geography:
Turkey, Konya
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Stonepaste; polychrome glaze within black wax resist outlines (cuerda seca technique)
Dimensions:
Tile a: H. 18 13/16 in. (47.8 cm) W. 11 1/16 in. (28.1 cm) Wt. 23 lbs. (10.4 kg) Tile b: H. 18 1/2 in. (47 cm) W. 10 7/8 in. (27.6 cm) Wt. 19 lbs. (8.6 kg)
Classification:
Ceramics-Tiles
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1908
Accession Number:
08.185a, b
  • Description

    A brilliant but short‑lived episode in the history of Anatolian ceramic production was the appearance of tiles decorated in the so‑called cuerda seca ("dry cord") technique. In the cuerda seca process, thin bands of waxy resist maintain color separation between glazes during firing, but leave behind "dry cords" of unglazed tile. This technique seems to have been introduced to Turkey from Iran as early as the fourteenth century. These tiles are also distinguished by their curving shape, recalling their original placement—probably on the exterior of the polylobed tower of the Mevlana Turbesi (Tomb of Rumi) in Konya.

  • Provenance

    [ Hagop Kevorkian, New York, until 1908; sold to MMA]

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
445345:3

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