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tile

  • Object:

    Border tile

  • Place of origin:

    Panjab (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1650 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Earthenware with cuerda seca decoration

  • Museum number:

    IS.74-1898

  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 137, The Curtain Foundation Gallery, case 16, shelf 8

This Mughal tile was said on acquisition in 1898 to have come from Mian Mir, near Lahore. The suburb acquired its name because it contained the tomb complex of the Sufi saint, Mian Mir (1531-1635). His devoted disciple, Prince Dara Shikoh, constructed the tomb after Mian Mir's death and other tombs were later built nearby.

Physical description

A corner border tile with a yellow ground decorated with a floral scroll of brown and white flowers and red buds on narrow green stems outlined in black. Triple stripes in brown, white and red separated by black lines act as margins on either side.

Place of Origin

Panjab (probably, made)

Date

ca. 1650 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Earthenware with cuerda seca decoration

Dimensions

Height: 10.25 in, Width: 6.5 in

Object history note

Bought as part of a larger group from Richard Poyser, Veterinary Major, Army Veterinary Department, Meerut, NW, and said on acquisition to have been 'Obtained in Mian Mir near Lahore'. His letter to the museum sent from Meerut, dated 13 April 92, refers to 'three broken pieces of encaustic tiles wh.[which] belonged to the Tomb of Azof Khan (AD about 1628) at Shahrah near Lahore' that he had earlier sold the museum, and contained an offer to sell 17 other pieces from the same tomb. He also proposed the museum buy 34 'pieces of encaustic tiles from other tombs or mosques (which can be named) of about the same date and character precisely'. The total number of 50 pieces were offered for 250 guineas.
On his return to England in 1898 as Lieutenant-Colonel, he wrote to Caspar Purdon Clarke, Director of the South Kensington Museum, 'I may add for your private information, that the old Indian tiles, which took me nearly 7 years to collect & which, as you are aware, are exceedingly difficult to obtain for many reasons, all came - excepting two - from Lahore & its neighbourhood where the tombs still stand to which they belonged, & some details will be found on the back of each & of an authentic nature.
Some I secured from a Mahommedan priest, - within the precincts of an important tomb, & just within its outer boundary wall, where they had been set up edgways to form square holes for pigeons to breed in: others from another priest had paved for himself a seat with them & upon which he constantly sat & read his Koran. he had also faced the wall at his back & side (in a corner) to a certain height with the same: Money would not get these out of him, but he sold me some loose ones. Another lot I purchased from a native shop keeper who lived near a celebrated tomb, & he fished them up out of a deep cellar under his shop. Two very fine specimens I secured in Delhi & you will find them so marked on the back.'

Said to have come from Mian Mir, near Lahore. The suburb acquired this name as it contained the tomb complex of the Sufi saint, Mian Mir (1531-1635) whose devoted disciple was Prince Dara Shikoh, who began the construction of his tomb after his death. Other tombs were later built to be near the saint's tomb.

Descriptive line

Architecture, earthenware, Panjab, ca. 1650

Materials

Earthenware (red); Enamel paint

Techniques

Cuerda seca

Categories

Ceramics

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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