Star-Shaped Tile, Stonepaste; molded, overglaze painted and leaf gilded (lajvardina)

Star-Shaped Tile

Object Name:
Star-shaped tile
Date:
second half 13th–14th century
Geography:
Made in Iran
Medium:
Stonepaste; molded, overglaze painted and leaf gilded (lajvardina)
Dimensions:
Diam. 7 7/8 in. (20 cm)
D. 11/16 in. (1.7 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics-Tiles
Credit Line:
H.O. Havemeyer Collection, Gift of Horace Havemeyer, 1940
Accession Number:
40.181.16
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455
This eight-pointed star tile was decorated using a method 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 would have been part of a star-and-cross panel adorning the walls of an Ilkhanid palace, mosque, or mausoleum.
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.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection," March 27, 1993–June 20, 1993, not in catalog.

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.