Tile

Rectangular, partially glazed earthenware tile, with deep molded curvilinear relief designs. Only the wide depressions are glazed, with a light blue/turquoise glaze. The tile is constructed of a thick slab of clay, cut in a V-shape at one end and having a very thick ridge or hand hold along the center back, possibly for the original impression and also for mounting on a wall.

Historical period(s)
Late 14th-early 15th century
Medium
Glazed earthenware
Dimensions
H x W x D (overall): 18.6 x 15.4 x 5.8 cm (7 5/16 x 6 1/16 x 2 5/16 in)
Geography
Iran, Khurasan
Credit Line
Gift of Clarence and Kathryn Kubichek in memory of Gladys Scott
Collection
Freer Study Collection
Accession Number
FSC-P-4742
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Architectural Element, Ceramic
Type

Tile

Keywords
earthenware, Iran
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Description

Rectangular, partially glazed earthenware tile, with deep molded curvilinear relief designs. Only the wide depressions are glazed, with a light blue/turquoise glaze. The tile is constructed of a thick slab of clay, cut in a V-shape at one end and having a very thick ridge or hand hold along the center back, possibly for the original impression and also for mounting on a wall.

Label

In the Persian world, architectural decoration in the form of partially glazed terra cotta dates to 12th-century Nishapur (Khorasan), but the elegant, curvelinear design of this particular fragment suggests a later date.  On the basis of the decoration and surface treatment, it is tempting to propose that the tile belongs to a transitional period--one that flourished between the fall of the Il-khanid dynasty in 1353 and the rise of the Timurids in the early 15th century.  It probably represents a link between Il-khanid preference for carved, unglazed architectural surfaces and Timurid preoccupation with faience mosaic as the predominant form of architectural decoration in the early 15th century.

Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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