Tile from an Inscriptional Frieze, Stonepaste; modeled, overglaze painted, and gilded (lajvardina)

Tile from an Inscriptional Frieze

Object Name:
Tile from a frieze
early 14th century
Attributed to Iran, Kashan
Stonepaste; modeled, overglaze painted, and gilded (lajvardina)
H. 12 3/4 in. (32.4 cm)
W. 12 1/2 in. (31.8 cm)
D. 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455
Inscribed: '[Blessings] upon the Prophet' - possibly from Qur'an 33:56
This tile exhibits the use of a rare glaze technique referred to as 'lajvardina'. After a first firing to establish the dark blue or turquoise underglaze background, these tiles were subjected to a second firing to set the carefully cut and placed pieces of gold leaf, creating glittering floral and geometric patterns. In this example, the inscription once was covered entirely in gold.
Inscription: In Arabic; in the thuluth script: "[bless] the Prophet"
Edward C. Moore, New York (until d. 1891; bequeathed to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Celestial Pen: Islamic Calligraphy," September 28, 1982–February 7, 1983, no catalogue.

New York. Hagop Kevorkian Fund Special Exhibitions Gallery. "Persian Tiles," May 4, 1993–January 2, 1994, no. 29.

Mexico City. Colegio de San Ildefonso. "Arte islamico del Museo Metropolitano de Arte de Nueva York," September 30, 1994–January 8, 1995, no. 52.

Sarre, Friedrich Dr. Denkmäler Persischer Baukunst : Geschichtliche Untersuchung und Aufnahme Muhammedanischer Backsteinbauten in Vorderasien und Persien. Berlin, 1910. ill. fig. 87, pls. LVII-LVIII.

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Mohammedan Decorative Arts. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1930. pp. 132, 142, ill. fig. 76 (b/w).

Harari, Ralph, and Richard Ettinghausen. A Survey of Persian Art from Prehistoric Times to the Present, edited by Arthur Upham Pope. Vol. I-VI. London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1938. ill. v. V, pl. 752A.

Lane, Arthur. A Guide to the Collection of Tiles. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1939. p. 8, ill. pl. 4C, (a tile from the same set as 91.1.1529).

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 202, ill. fig. 133 (b/w).

Carboni, Stefano, and Tomoko Masuya. Persian Tiles. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. no. 29, p. 34, ill. (b/w).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Daniel S. Walker, Arturo Ponce Guadián, Sussan Babaie, Stefano Carboni, Aimee Froom, Marie Lukens Swietochowski, Tomoko Masuya, Annie Christine Daskalakis-Matthews, Abdallah Kahil, and Rochelle Kessler. "Colegio de San Ildefonso, Septiembre de 1994-Enero de 1995." In Arte Islámico del Museo Metropolitano de Arte de Nueva York. Mexico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 1994. no. 52, pp. 148-149, ill. p. 149 (color).