Wall Tile from a Royal Funerary Structure
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
Blue-green glazed rectangular tiles like these once decorated the walls of subterranean rooms beneath King Djoser’s Step Pyramid. As the first example of monumental stone architecture in Egypt, Djoser’s funerary complex was meant to provide the king’s spirit with an abode for eternity. The tiles imitated the hangings of reeds lashed together by horizontal cords that decorated palace walls during this king’s lifetime.
ca. 2675-2625 B.C.E.
Early Old Kingdom
2 5/16 × 1 3/8 × 9/16 in. (5.8 × 3.5 × 1.4 cm) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
One of four green glazed faience plaques from the lining of the subterranean chamber in the pyramid of King Zoser at Saqqarah. The plaques are oblong and undecorated. On the underside of each is an oblong ridge which is pierced apparently to facilitate attachment to the walls of the chamber.
Condition, each tile is slightly chipped and on the rear are remains of plaster.
This item is not on view
Wall Tile from a Royal Funerary Structure, ca. 2675-2625 B.C.E. Faience, 2 5/16 × 1 3/8 × 9/16 in. (5.8 × 3.5 × 1.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 34.1180d. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , CUR.34.1180a_34.1180b_34.1180c_34.1180d_NegA_print_bw.jpg)
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Could you tell me how faience was made?
Faience is a man-made mixture of "ground quartz or quartz-sand held together by and alkaline binder. The bright and shiny surface
seen on this figurine is a result of glazing. The glaze was made of a form of powdered glass mixed with a liquid and applied either with a brush or by dipping the entire figurine.
It gets it's blue color from copper that is mixed into or applied to the surface of the quartz body before firing.