Tile with Image of Phoenix

Object Name: Tile from a frieze

Date: late 13th century

Geography: From Iran, probably Takht-i Sulaiman

Medium: Stonepaste; modeled, underglaze painted in blue and turquoise, luster-painted on opaque white ground

Dimensions: H. 14 3/4 in. (37.5 cm)
W. 14 1/4 inl (36.2 cm)

Classification: Ceramics-Tiles

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1912

Accession Number: 12.49.4


After the Mongol conquest of Persia in the thirteenth century, an extensive trade network opened from China to the Mediterranean, allowing goods to move more freely than in prior centuries. As the objects in this case demonstrate, Ilkhanid period artists readily adopted imagery from Chinese iconography, including lotus flowers, deer, dragons and other mythical creatures. This image of a soaring phoenix with crested head and elaborate trailing plumage is exemplifies the adaptation of Chinese imagery by Persian artists.