Eight-Pointed Star Tile with a Gazelle
In the medieval Iranian world, the deaths of Sufi shaykhs led to the building of tomb complexes; these became sites of veneration as well as spaces for prayer, teaching, and living. Star tiles with figural motifs are not unusual in popular religious complexes of Shica Muslims. This tile, depicting a deer and framed by a border with a luster-painted inscription, would have formed one unit of a star-and-cross tile dado that may have embellished such a Sufi shrine. It includes texts from two poets, the first, unidentified, and the second apparently by the twelfth-century mystic Awhad al-Din Kirmani. The pairing of mystical inscriptions with luster created a shimmering effect that must have greatly enhanced the mystical and sensory experience of the Sufi pilgrim.
- Medium: Ceramic; fritware, painted in luster and blue over an opaque white glaze
- Dates: 13th-14th centuries
- Dynasty: Saljuq
- Period: Saljuq
- Dimensions: 8 1/4 x 3/8 x 8 1/4 in. (21 x 1 x 21 cm) (show scale)
- Inscriptions: See Unicode Inscription for Persian text. Ay ray-I tu sahra-yi amal paymudan Ta chand bar aftab gil andudan? Gar dar dahan-I sher shavi bahr-I tama` akhir na shikar-I gor khwahi budan? [You have in mind to traverse the field of hope. How long will you besmear the sun with mud? If you go greedily into the mouth of the lion, In the end will you not fall prey to the grave?] Ay roy-I tu az litafat ayina-I ruh Khwaham ki qadamha-yi khayalat ba-sabuh Dar dida kasham vali az tir-I muzha-am Tarsam ki shaved pay-I khayalat majruh. [Your face is so delicate it is a mirror of the spirit. I desire to attract the steps of your image into my eyes with a morning drink, But I fear your image's feet will be wounded By the arrows of my eyelashes.]
- Collections:Arts of the Islamic World
- Museum Location: This item is not on view
- Accession Number: 86.227.71
- Credit Line: Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc.
- Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
- Caption: Eight-Pointed Star Tile with a Gazelle, 13th-14th centuries. Ceramic; fritware, painted in luster and blue over an opaque white glaze, 8 1/4 x 3/8 x 8 1/4 in. (21 x 1 x 21 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc., 86.227.71. Creative Commons-BY
- Record Completeness: Good (66%)