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Tile with Niche Design

Nusrat al-Din Muhammad

Object Name:
Tile with niche design
Date:
dated A.H. 860/A.D. 1455–56
Geography:
Iran
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Stonepaste; inglaze painted in blue, luster-painted on opaque white glaze
Dimensions:
H. 15 1/2 in. (39.4 cm) W. 11 1/4 in. (28.6 cm) D. 1 3/8 in. (3.5 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics-Tiles
Credit Line:
Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915
Accession Number:
30.95.26
  • Description

    Arabic Inscription: "In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. The building of this structure was ordered by the supreme Sultan Abu Anbiyya al-Muzaffar A[bu] Sa'id Bahadur Khan, May God perpetuate his kingdom. Nusrat al-Din Muhammad wrote this in the year 860/1455–56."
    Along with two calligraphic frieze tiles in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum displaying similar floral designs, this luster tile once adorned an as‑yet‑unidentified building commissioned by Abu Sa'id (1424–69), great‑grandson of Timur. From the inscription on this small tile, we learn not only the name of the patron, and the date of the building’s construction, but also the name of the tile’s calligrapher—Nusrat al‑Din Muhammad.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: In Arabic; in naskh script; on outer band from lower right corner:

    "In the name of God the Merciful Benefactor, the supreme sultan Abu Anbiyya al-Muzaffar, A [bu] Sa'id Bahadur Khan, May God perpetuate his kingdom. Nusrat al-Din Muhammad wrote this in the year year 860" (1455-56 A.D.)

    Abu Sa'id Bahadur (r. 855–873/1451–1469), Sultan in Samarqand and Transoxiana, and in Khurasan from 863 on.

    Some mistakes in the inscription, indicating a Persian speaker.

  • Provenance

    Theodore M. Davis, New York (by 1914–d. 1915; bequeathed to MMA)

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