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  • Place of origin:

    Tehran (city) (probably, made)

  • Date:

    1867 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Fritware painted under the glaze

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 137, The Curtain Foundation Gallery, case 29, shelf 8

This is a rare example of Qajar memorial tile with a portrait of a man, presumably the deceased. His name is given as Karbala Muhammad 'Ali Farrash Firuzkuhi, and we are told that he died on 26 August 1867. "Farrash" literally means "carpet-spreader", but it denotes the chamberlain of a wealthy household, while "Firuzkuhi" shows that he had some connection with the town of Firuzkuh in Fars province. The portrait depicts him wearing the typical formal dress of the urban middle class.

Physical description

Square tile, made of fritware covered in a white slip and painted under the glaze in blue, turquoise, green, yellow and tones of red, with outlines in black. A standing male figure, presumably a memorial portrait of the deceased, is set on the white ground, in the centre of the tile. He is shown as a youthful man, with a moustache and long black hair partly covered by a Qajar hat. He wears a knee-length turquoise coat with a full skirt, with trimmings along the opening at the front and around the hem. It is tied at the waist with a red belt or sash from which a dagger hangs. Under the coat are wide blue trousers and black shoes. He holds a pomegranate in his right hand and an unidentified object in his left. The figure is flanked by two floral devices and is framed by an arch supported by columns. An inscription in Persian, in an unpolished hand, in the nasta'liq style, in black, runs along the lower edge and up the side of the left column.

Place of Origin

Tehran (city) (probably, made)


1867 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Fritware painted under the glaze

Marks and inscriptions

تاریخ وفات مرحوم کربلا محمد علی فراش فیروزکوهی بتاریخ بیست <و> پنجم ربیع الثانی سنه ۱۲۸۴
Date of the death of the late Karbala Muhammad Ali Farrash Firuzkuhi on 25 Rabi' al-Thani in the year 1284
25 Rabi' al-Thani 1284 in the Hijri calendar corresponds to 26 August 1867.


Length: 23.5 cm, Width: 23.5 cm, Depth: 2.5 cm

Object history note

Purchased for 3s 9d

Descriptive line

Memorial tile, fritware painted under the glaze, with a portrait of the deceased; probably Tehran, Iran, dated 1867.




Painted; Glazed

Subjects depicted

Flowers; Men


Ceramics; Tiles; Death


Middle East Section

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