Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Three Tiles with 'Lajvardina' Glaze

Object Name:
Star-shaped tile
second half 13th–14th century
Attributed to Iran
Stonepaste; molded, overglaze painted, and gilded (lajvardina)
H. 7 7/8 in. (20 cm) W. 7 7/8 in. (20 cm) D. 3/4 in. (1.9 cm)
Credit Line:
The Grinnell Collection, Bequest of William Milne Grinnell, 1920
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455
This eight-pointed tile was decorated using a technique called lajvardina, a term that references lapis lazuli, a deep blue colored stone containing gold particles. After an initial firing to establish the dark blue background, the tile underwent a second firing to set the overglazed details and the carefully cut pieces of gold leaf, creating a glimmering surface. A flowering spray of Chinese-inspired lotus and peony blossoms occupies the entire surface of this tile, which was once part of a star-and-cross panel adorning the walls of an Ilkhanid palace, mosque, or mausoleum.
William Milne Grinnell, New York (until d. 1920; bequeathed to MMA)
Joseph Breck. "The William Milne Grinell Bequest." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, o.s., vol. XV (1920). pp. 273-275.

Lane, Arthur. A Guide to the Collection of Tiles. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1939. p. 8, ill. pl. 5B, Very similar tile.

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 203.

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