Seljuq period (1040-1157)
Late 13th-early 14th c.
Frit body, moulded, underglaze and overglaze lustre decoration, blue glaze
20.2 x 42.8 x 3.8 cm
F. Cleveland Morgan Bequest, inv. 1962.Ea.28
Archeology and World Cultures
Architectural ceramics have a long history in Islamic art. Walls, vaults, domes and floors of secular and religious buildings, particularly palaces, mausoleums, mosques, schools and shrines, were often decorated with sumptuous polychrome ceramic tilework. Many of the tiles on display here are lustre painted and display characteristic calligraphic, floral and zoomorphic designs. Dating from the medieval period, they were produced in Kashan, the centre of Persian luxury ceramics. The large twelve-pointed star with an interlaced design is the only artifact in the collection from the Timurid period (1370-1506). It once adorned the madrasa of Khargird in northeastern Iran. The tiles from post-Reconquista Spain, several of which feature Andalusian Islamic motifs, underscore the influence of Islamic architectural ceramics in Europe and highlight the sometimes forgotten cross-cultural interconnectedness between Europe and the Muslim world.