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Molded Tile

Arts of the Islamic World

On View: Arts of the Islamic World, 2nd floor
This molded tile depicts four grandees associated with the court of Nasir al-Din Shah (reigned 1848–96) of the Qajar Dynasty (1785–1925). They stand at attendance with their hands discreetly folded, demonstrating the formality of court ritual during the period. Used as part of a decorative ensemble in a princely mansion or palace, this tile represents the high level of technical skill that ceramic artists achieved during the Qajar period. The figures are rendered in grisaille, a technique in which shades of black, white, and gray are used exclusively, and they hover amid floral sprays and individual blossoms on a monochrome cobalt-blue background. The color bleeds very little into the black-and-white figures, indicating the artist's control in glazing and firing processes.
MEDIUM Ceramic; fritware, painted in black, cobalt blue, turquoise, manganese purple, pink, and yellow under a transparent glaze
  • Place Made: Iran
  • DATES second half of 19th century
    PERIOD Qajar Period
    DIMENSIONS 13 3/4 x 1 3/16 x 11 3/4 in. (34.9 x 3 x 29.8 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Hagop Kevorkian Fund
    PROVENANCE Prior to 1987, provenance not yet documented; before 1987, acquired in France by an unidentified French collector; May 4, 1990, purchased at Hôtel Drouot, Paris, lot 17 by the Brooklyn Museum.
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    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Arts of the Islamic World, 2nd floor
    CAPTION Molded Tile, second half of 19th century. Ceramic; fritware, painted in black, cobalt blue, turquoise, manganese purple, pink, and yellow under a transparent glaze, 13 3/4 x 1 3/16 x 11 3/4 in. (34.9 x 3 x 29.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Hagop Kevorkian Fund, 1991.2. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1991.2_SL3.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 1991.2_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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