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Tile with Niche Design

Object Name:
Tile with niche design
Date:
dated A.H. 712/A.D. 1312–13
Geography:
Iran, Sultanabad
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Stonepaste; molded and monochrome glazed
Dimensions:
H. 33 1/2 in. (85.1cm) W. 20 in. (50.8 cm) D. 3 in. (7.6 cm) Wt. 74 lbs. (33.6 kg)
Classification:
Ceramics-Tiles
Credit Line:
Gift of V. Everit Macy, 1925
Accession Number:
25.93
  • Description

    Evoking an architectural mihrab niche, the design of this tile includes columns topped by a multilobed arch. The vigorous calligraphic inscriptions that surround and fill the interior of the "niche" comprise an evocation to the Chahar‑dah Ma'sum (Fourteen Infallibles)—naming the twelve Shi'i Imams and the family of the Prophet Muhammad. The date of this tile places it within the reign of the Ilkhanid ruler Sultan Uljaitu, who was known to have embraced Shi'i Islam.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: In Arabic; in naskh script; on outer band, from lower right corner:
    "Oh God, pray for Muhammad the Chosen, Ali the Favored, Fatima the Radiant, Hasan the Elect, Husayn the Martyr of Karbala, (Ali) the Most Beautiful of the Believers, (Muhmmad) al-Baqir, (Ja'far) al-Sadiq, (Musa) al-Kazim, (Ali) al-Riza..."

    Enclosed in the niche:
    "...(Muhammad) al-Taqi, (Ali) al-Naqi, (Hasan) Askari, and (al-Mahdi) the Standing Proof, the Successor, the Imam, the Master of the Time. Blessings of God upon them all. In the year twelve and seven hundred (A.D. 1312-13)."

  • Provenance

    V. Everit Macy, New York (until 1925; gifted to MMA)

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
447809

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