Islamic Art: Lustre-Decorated Kashan

Islamic Art: Lustre-Decorated Kashan 13th C. Star Tile

Lustre-Decorated Kashan 13th C. Star Tile
DESCRIPTION: A lustre-decorated pottery star tile, Kashan, Central Persia, circa 1266-1267 A.D. of eight pointed stellar form, the decoration heightened in cobalt-blue and turquoise, the design of a central spray of split-palmettes flanked on each side by an hare, the dense ground of floral and foliate motifs, a border of cursive calligraphy. 21 cm.

Inscriptions: Qur'an, II, v.255 and beginning of 256

This finely decorated tile is closely related to a group thought to have decorated the Imamzada Ja'far at Damghan. Examples of these showing similar animal decorations with a surrounding calligraphic band in naskhi script are in the British Museum in London. Certainly from the Imamzada, and also comparable, are several tiles in the Musee du Louvre, Paris, some bearing dates from 1266 and 1267.

A note on the inscription: Here we see a familiar verse. From the Koran Verse 255 of Sura 2 is known as the Ayah Al-Kursee or "The Throne Verse".

"Allah! There is no god but He, the Living, the self subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize him, nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on the earth. Who can intercede in His presence except as He permiteth. He knoweth What (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass ought of His knowledge except as He willeth. His Throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth, and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them, for He is the Most High, The Supreme (in glory)". The Holy Quran'n And The Ethical World Order

This verse is a popular declaration of faith and appears in other works of Islamic Art including the 16th century Indjoudjian Inscribed Spiral Arabesque Niche Rug (attributed by Michael Franses to Central Persia, circa 1575).