Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Fragmentary Tile, Probably Arrow-Shaped in Origin, and Modern Filling

Object Name:
Fragmentary tile
late 12th–13th century, with 20th-century fills
Said to be from Iran, Rayy
Stonepaste; in-glaze and overglaze-painted, opaque white glaze
H. 4 in. (10.2 cm)
W. 3 3/4 in.( 9.5 cm)

Credit Line:
The Grinnell Collection, Bequest of William Milne Grinnell, 1920
Accession Number:
20.120.106a, b
Not on view
Whether loose or on a building, Iranian glazed tiles fascinated scholars and collectors for aesthetic reasons. The tiles’ role in the decoration of facades and minarets in the second half of the eleventh century became an early subject of academic investigation. This tile shows a once-common restoration that isoverzealous by today’s standards: the missing portion was reconstructed and filled in, and the painting completed. Before museum conservators separated the filling, the restoration would have been barely detectable. The tile originally had a different, probably pointed shape (see the small trace of a corner on the bottom right).
William Milne Grinnell, New York (until d. 1920; bequeathed to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Transformed: Medieval Syrian and Iranian Art in the Early 20th cent.," February 10, 2016–July 17, 2016, no catalogue.

Joseph Breck. "The William Milne Grinell Bequest." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, o.s., vol. XV (1920). pp. 273-275.

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