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Molded Tile

Arts of the Islamic World

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 mid-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)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 1991.2
    CREDIT LINE Hagop Kevorkian Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Molded Tile, mid-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_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 1991.2_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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