Tile From an Inscriptional Frieze

Object Name: Tile from a frieze

Date: dated A.H. 707/A.D. 1308

Geography: From Iran, Natanz

Medium: Stonepaste; underglaze painted in blue, luster-painted on opaque white ground, modeled

Dimensions: H. 15 in. (38.1 cm)
W. 15 in. (38.1 cm)

Classification: Ceramics-Tiles

Credit Line: Gift of Emile Rey, 1912

Accession Number: 12.44


This tile is one in a series which probably once formed a glittering inscriptional frieze encircling the walls of a 14th-century tomb pavilion located in Natanz, Iran. The cobalt-blue inscription is set against a field of scrolling vines, wherein tiny birds perch amongst leafy foliage, some alighting upon the letters themselves. The frieze likely sat close to eye level, permitting the intricacies of the tile's drawing to be admired, while crowning a dado of equally opulent star- and cross-shaped tiles.