Tile thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Islamic Middle East, Room 42, The Jameel Gallery

Tile

1727 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Fritware painted under the glaze
Brief Description
Tile with a design made up of calligraphy spelling out the names of God, Muhammad, and the Four Righteous Caliphs, Turkey (probably Istanbul), 1727.
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.
Dimensions
  • Height: 28cm
  • Width: 37cm
Style
Gallery Label
Jameel Gallery 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)
Summary
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.
Bibliographic Reference
Tim Stanley (ed.), with Mariam Rosser-Owen and Stephen Vernoit, Palace and Mosque: Islamic Art from the Middle East, London, V&A Publications, 2004p.60
Collection
Accession Number
1756-1892

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record createdOctober 20, 2004
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