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Panel

Panel

  • Place of origin:

    Iran (made)

  • Date:

    1150-1250 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Fritware, with turquoise glaze and moulded decoration

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Sir Charles M. Marling, K.C.M.G., C.B.

  • Museum number:

    C.262-1919

  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics Study Galleries, Asia & Europe, room 137, case WN

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This stonepaste tile with turquoise glaze and moulded decoration origianlly formed part of a large panel of tiles. Monochrome glazed tiles with both figural and non-figural decoration were chiefly produced in Kashan, Iran during the 12th to 14th centuries. Although there were doubtless other potteries functioning in Iran in the medieval period, evidence of Kashan's preeminent position comes from finds of wasters (objects spoiled in the kiln) and the remains of kilns. Such tiles frequently have inscriptions in the cursive naskhi script around their borders that include Persian poetry and verses from the Qur'an.

Physical description

Fragment of a large panel of tiles,fritware with turquoise glaze with moulded decoration featuring an elephant.

Place of Origin

Iran (made)

Date

1150-1250 (made)

Artist/maker

unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques

Fritware, with turquoise glaze and moulded decoration

Dimensions

Length: 71.1 cm, Width: 58.4 cm

Object history note

Sir Charles Marling was the British Minister at Tehran.

Historical significance: Although turquoise glaze tiles are quite common, the fact that this fragment comes from a large panel with figural programme in moulded decoration makes it unusual.

Historical context note

The principal centre for the production of pottery and tilework from the 12th-14th centuries was the town of Kashan in central Iran, which gave its name to the Persian word for tile (kashi). Although there were doubtless other potteries functioning in Iran in the medieval period, evidence of Kashan's preeminent position during this period comes from finds of wasters (objects spoiled in the kiln) and the remains of kilns. Most of the large number of surviving tiles from Kashan are monochrome in turquoise or blue, many with moulded decoration such as this example. Tiles produced throughout most of the 13th century are decorated with both figural and non-figural motifs. They frequently have inscriptions in the cursive naskhi script around their borders that include Persian poetry and verses from the Qur'an. Figural tiles were most likely destined for secular use in palaces, though some such tiles were used in Shiite shrines, where human love and poetry could be used as an allegory for divine love.

Descriptive line

Tile panel fragment, fritware, moulded in relief featuring an elephant, covered with a turquoise glaze, Iran (Kashan), 1150-1250.

Materials

Fritware; Overglaze

Techniques

Moulding; Firing; Overglazing

Subjects depicted

Elephant

Categories

Ceramics; Tiles

Collection code

MES

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Qr_O83418
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