Fritware tile, molded and painted in red and with gold leaf over a blue glaze. Lajvardina type
Iran, Kashan; 2nd half of 13th century
H: 41.5; W: 38.5 cm
In around 1300, the writer Abu’l-Qasim, who came from a potter’s family in Kashan, called this type lajvardina – of lapis lazuli – although the glaze is based on cobalt. He noted that at this point, it had replaced minai ware. Both types were costly since they required two firings.
This tile and others formed a long frieze on a building. The combination of Chinese-inspired phoenixes – a motif that came to Iran with the Mongols – and a Koranic inscription is actually unusual. Only rarely are figurative motifs seen in religious contexts.
Inv. no. 12/1962
Art from the World of Islam. 8th-18th century, Louisiana, Humlebæk 1987, cat.no. 135;
Kjeld von Folsach: Islamic art. The David Collection, Copenhagen 1990, cat.no. 147;
Kjeld von Folsach: Fabelvæsner fra Islams Verden, Davids Samling, København 1991, cat.no. 54;
Kjeld von Folsach, Torben Lundbæk and Peder Mortensen (eds.): Sultan, Shah and Great Mughal: the history and culture of the Islamic world, The National Museum, Copenhagen 1996, cat.no. 252;
Kjeld von Folsach: Art from the World of Islam in The David Collection, Copenhagen 2001, cat.no. 215;
Yuka Kadoi: Islamic chinoiserie: the art of Mongol Iran, Edinburgh 2009, fig. 2.10;
Jonathan Bloom og Sheila Blair (eds.): And diverse are their hues: color in Islamic art and culture, New Haven 2011, p. 43, fig. 32;