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Tile

  • Place of origin:

    Istanbul (probably, made)

  • Date:

    1727 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Fritware painted under the glaze

  • Museum number:

    1756-1892

  • Gallery location:

    Islamic Middle East, Room 42, The Jameel Gallery, case 8E

The main device on this tile is painted under the glaze and is formed from names. They are those of God, the Prophet Muhammad, and the Prophet's first four successors, Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali.

Sunni Muslims honour all four successors. Shi'ite Muslims believe Ali was Muhammad's only rightful successor. The device on this tile therefore marks the Ottoman dynasty’s adherence to Sunni Islam.

Physical description

Fritware tile, painted under the glaze. The main motif is a calligraphic pattern formed from the names of God, the prophet Muhammad and the first four caliphs, Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman and 'Ali. The combination indicates an allegiance to Sunni Islam, as the legitimacy of Abu Bakr, 'Umar and 'Uthman is rejected by Shi'ites.

Place of Origin

Istanbul (probably, made)

Date

1727 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Fritware painted under the glaze

Dimensions

Height: 28 cm, Width: 37 cm

Descriptive line

Tile with a design made up of calligraphy spelling out the names of God, Muhammad, and the Four Righteous Caliphs, Turkey (probably Istanbul), 1727.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Tim Stanley ed., with Mariam Rosser-Owen and Stephen Vernoit, Palace and Mosque: Islamic Art from the Middle East, London, V&A Publications, 2004; p. 60, plate 72

Labels and date

Tile with Calligraphy
Turkey, probably Istanbul
Dated 1727

The main device on this tile is formed from the names of God, the Prophet Muhammad, and the Prophet's first four successors, Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali. All four are honoured by Sunni Muslims, but Shi'ites believe Ali was Muhammad's only rightful successor. The device thus marks the Ottomans' adherence to Sunni Islam.

Fritware painted under the glaze

Museum no. 1756-1892 [Jameel Gallery]

Categories

Ceramics; Tiles

Collection

Middle East Section

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