Star-Shaped Tile

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455

This eight-pointed star tile was probably originally part of a panel of star- and cross-shaped tiles, meant to decorate a wall. The vegetal design was drawn on a luster backdrop which would have caught the light, causing the patterns to shimmer. The effect would have been compounded by the number of tiles on the wall. The motif of cross-style leaf stalks resembles other tiles in the collection (41.165.18), indicating that it was likely a stock motif used by potters in Ilkhanid Iran. Tiles of this type contain a variety of inscriptions in Persian and Arabic, which may relate to the function of the buildings they decorated. This example has inscriptions from the Qur’an, Sura 93 (Ad-Dhuha) in naskh script which is directed to those who are facing hardship and is intended to console them with the promise of God’s mercy and justice.

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

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