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Tile panel

Tile panel

  • Place of origin:

    Kashan (made)

  • Date:

    1262 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Tahir (decorator)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Fritware with overglaze lustre decoration

  • Museum number:

    1837&A, C, E, F-1876, 1487-1876, 1489-1876, 1838&C, E-1876, 1077-1892, 1099&A-1892, 1100&A-1892

  • Gallery location:

    Islamic Middle East, Room 42, The Jameel Gallery, case WE1, shelf EXP []

Many innovations originated in the Islamic Middle East. Decorating glazed ceramics with metallic lustre was one of them. This difficult technique was invented in Iraq in the 9th century. It spread over an area stretching from Spain to Iran, where these tiles were made.

The tiles are from the tomb of a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad at Varamin near Tehran. The designs, each subtly different, are surrounded by quotations from the Qur’an.

Physical description

Panel of fifteen star and cross tiles, from the shrine of Imamzadeh Yahya in Varamin (south of Tehran). Fritware ceramic with lustre decoration, Iran, probably Kashan, dated 1262, and attributable to Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Tahir.

Place of Origin

Kashan (made)

Date

1262 (made)

Artist/maker

Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Tahir (decorator)

Materials and Techniques

Fritware with overglaze lustre decoration

Dimensions

Width: 121.1 cm overall, Weight: 45 kg

Object history note

In the three months Dhu'l-Hijja 660 to Safar 661 (October to December 1262) were made a large number of star and cross tiles that decorated the dado of the Imamzada Yahya in Veramin. Over 150 examples are recorded in some 24 collections. (Watson, Persian Lustre Ware, p. 191)

Descriptive line

Panel of lustre tiles from a tomb in Varamin (near Tehran). Iran (probably Kashan), 1262.

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

Oliver Watson, Persian Lustre Ware, London: Faber and Faber, 1985, colour plate K, pp. 122-3, 132, 134, 186, 191.
Tim Stanley, Palace and Mosque: Islamic Art from the Middle East, London: V&A Publications, 2004, plate 65, pp. 28, 51, 122.

Labels and date

PANEL OF STAR AND CROSS TILES
Fritware painted in lustre
PERSIA (Kashan); dated 660-1 A. H./October to December 1262
These tiles once covered the inside walls of the Tomb of Yahya, a distant descendant of the Prophet Muhammed, in Veramin in central Persia. They were made in Kashan by the potter Ali ibn Muhammed ibn Abi Tahir. [Old label]
Lustre Tiles
Iran, probably Kashan
1262

Many innovations originated in the Islamic Middle East. One was the decoration of glazed ceramics with metallic lustre. This difficult technique, invented in Iraq in the 9th century, travelled the breadth of the Islamic Middle East. It eventually reached Spain in the west and Iran in the east, where these tiles were made.

The tiles are from the tomb of a distant descendant of the Prophet Muhammad in the town of Varamin near Tehran. The designs, each subtly different, are based on plants and surrounded by borders inscribed with quotations from the Qur'an.

Fritware painted in lustre over a transparent glaze

Museum nos. 1487, 1489, 1837&A, C, E, F, 1838&C, E-1876; 1077, 1099&A, 1100&A-1892 [2006]

Production Note

Attributed to Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Tahir

Materials

Fritware

Categories

Islam; Ceramics; Tiles; Lustre ware

Collection

Middle East Section

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