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Star-shaped Tile

A work made of stone paste with turquoise alkaline tin glaze, enamels, and gold leaf decoration.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of stone paste with turquoise alkaline tin glaze, enamels, and gold leaf decoration.

Date:

Ilkhanid dynasty (1256–1353), late 13th century

Artist:

Iran

About this artwork

A raised dragon decorates this eight-pointed star tile produced during the Ilkhanid period, a time when the Mongol dynasty controlled northwest Iran. Chinese dragons were common motifs of Ilkhanid ceramics, and their presence reveals the influence of East Asian visual culture on Iranian ceramics at this historical moment. Although the dragon motif may have been borrowed from afar, the method of production was local to Iranian potters. The lajvardina technique, used to create the rich colorful effect of this tile, involved a process of dual firings and was developed in Kashan during the Ilkhanid period. A solid underglaze base of cobalt blue, turquoise blue, or white would be applied as a first layer. Overglaze painting was then used in black, white, and red enamels with highlights of gold during a second firing. Numerous tiles with dragons were found at Takht-i Sulayman, the summer palace constructed in the 1270s for Abaqa, the Mongol Ilkhan. Tiles served decorative and architectural purposes during the Ilkhanid period. An eight-pointed star tile such as this one might have been combined with other tiles to decorate the interior walls of buildings.

On View

Asian Art, Gallery 50

Culture

Islamic

Title

Star-shaped Tile

Origin

Iran

Date

1201–1300

Medium

Stone paste with turquoise alkaline tin glaze, enamels, and gold leaf decoration

Dimensions

19.4 × 19.4 × 2.0 cm. (7 5/8 × 7 5/8 7/8 in.)

Credit Line

Bequest of Hans G. Cahen

Reference Number

1984.1326

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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