Star-Shaped Tile

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455

Eight-pointed star-shaped tiles often bear Arabic and Persian inscriptions that contain poetry or Qur’anic verses. This particular tile is inscribed with a segment of the Throne Verse, also known as the Ayat-al-Kursi (2:255). The verse, which is thought to have protective properties, is perhaps the most common to be found on objects in many media and time periods (08.169.4; 1978.348.2; 2003.241).This tile would have originally been part of a panel of star- and cross-shaped tiles on an Ilkhanid building, similar to the way it is arranged now. The decoration of such tiles in luster was a complicated technique in which opaque white, blue and turquoise glazes were applied to the ceramic body for the first firing and a copper luster was applied for a second firing. During this period in Iran, lusterware was primarily produced in the city of Kashan.

Star-Shaped Tile, Stonepaste; inglaze painted in blue and turquoise and luster-painted on opaque white glaze

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