Tile Fragment

early 14th century (made)
Tile Fragment thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Place Of Origin

The overglaze techinique known as Lajvardina, was mentioned in Abu al-Qasim’s treatise on ceramics (1301). Wares were executed in simple red, white, black, and gold leaf designs on a turquoise or a dark blue glaze. The designs were almost exclusively abstract and floral, especially tight scrolls. Lajvard (Persian: “lapis lazuli,” referring to the blue glaze used) may date from the late 12th century; with output increasing until about the mid-14th century.


object details
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Fritware decorated in relief under a blue glaze, moulded and painted with white, red and gold
Brief Description
Fragment from a cross-shaped tile, fritware, lajvardina ware; Iran (probably Kashan), early 14th century.
Physical Description
The top arm of a tile in the shape of a cross, fritware, decorated in the overglaze technique known as lajvardina (from 'lajvard', the Persian for 'lapis lazuli'), in which the background is a deep cobalt blue. The surface decoration is moulded with an elegant seated hare with its head turned back and its front paw raised and floral motifs. It is decorated in gold leaf with a stem with leaves branching off it and a round flower at the centre. At the top of the tile is a seated hare,. The outlines are in red, and the blue background is covered in small scrolls in a white pigment.
Dimensions
  • Length: 13.5cm
  • Height: 5.9cm
  • Depth: 2.0cm
Content description
Depiction of a hare (rabbit).
Styles
Object history
According to the Museum Registers this fragment, 'Bought (Myers Colln.)', was 'From the ruins of Rhé (Rhages).'



In his will, the British collector Major William Joseph Myers(1858-1899) stipulated that his collections of 'Arab' glass and wall tiles be offered to the VIctoria and Albert Museum for £3000 and £1000 respectively. Myers died in October 1899, and on 3 January 1900, his executor wrote to the Museum making the offer he had stipulated. A valuation process then followed, and on 24 January Frederick Ducane Godman and George Salting, as advisers to the museum, signed a letter to the Director firmly recommending purchase. The objects were then delivered to the V&A, where they were divided in three parts. Two parts, listed in separate inventories dated 23 May 1900, were sent to the South Kensington Museum’s sister institutions in Edinburgh and Dublin. The third and largest part remained at the Museum. Invoices for the glass and tiles were paid on 5 June 1900, at £2253.15s.0d for the glass and £829.15s.0d for the tiles.





Summary
The overglaze techinique known as Lajvardina, was mentioned in Abu al-Qasim’s treatise on ceramics (1301). Wares were executed in simple red, white, black, and gold leaf designs on a turquoise or a dark blue glaze. The designs were almost exclusively abstract and floral, especially tight scrolls. Lajvard (Persian: “lapis lazuli,” referring to the blue glaze used) may date from the late 12th century; with output increasing until about the mid-14th century.
Collection
Accession Number
678-1900

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record createdJune 24, 2009
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