Stonepaste; inglaze painted in blue, luster-painted on opaque white glaze, modeled decoration
H. 19 3/4 in. (50.4 cm)
W. 18 3/4 in. (47.6 cm)
D. 3 in. (7.6 cm)
H. 19 in. (48.3 cm)
W. 18 in. (45.7 cm)
Wt. 61 lbs (27.7 kg)
H.O. Havemeyer Collection, Gift of Horace Havemeyer, 1940
Not on view
Inscribed: "He is God, beside whom there is no god, the Knower of the unseen and the seen. He is the Merciful, the Compassionate," (Qur'an 59: 22)
This tile originally formed the upper part of a prayer niche, or mihrab. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, a family of potters headed by the patriarch Abu Tahir, and carrying the nisba (epithet) Kashani (indicating their origins in the city of Kashan) were active in the creation of large, luster-glazed composite panel mihrabs. Large-scale, niche-design tiles such as this one formed the centerpiece of the groupings these potters created for mosques and madrasas throughout the region.
Inscription: In Arabic; in thuluth script, on arch from the lower right corner:
"He is God, besides whom there is no other God. The Knower of the unseen and the seen, the Benificent, the Merciful." (Qur'an chapter 59, verse 22)
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, New York (by 1930–40; gifted to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Ceramic Art of the Near East," 1931, no. 84.
San Diego. San Diego Museum of Art. "Temple, Palace, Mosque," June 1, 2013–June 1, 2014, no catalogue.
Dimand, Maurice S. "The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, May 12 to June 28, 1931." In Loan Exhibition of Ceramic Art of the Near East. New York, 1931. no. 84, p. 20, no ill.
Dimand, Maurice S. "A Gift of Islamic Pottery." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 36, no. 3 (1941). pp. 70-73, ill.