Tile, fritware, hexgonal, painted in black with a bird, turquoise-tinted glaze, Syria (Damascus), ca.1420-1450
Tile, fritware, hexagonal, painted in black with a strutting heron-like bird or stork surrounded by four swaying tendril-like leaves, covered with a pale green-turquoise-tinted glaze.
This Mamluk tilereflects the growing impact of two colour Chinese ceramics of the Yuan and Ming dynasties imported into the Middle East. It is painted in black on a white ground and then glazed; the glaze has been tinted with a turquoise pigment.. Although not typical, similar tiles survive in situ covering the walls in the mosque and tomb of the Mamluk digiatary Ghars al-Din Khalil al-Tawrizi (d. 1430) in Damascus, begun in 1423. They are sometimes interspersed with plain turquoise tiles. This examples shows a strong Islamic taste in the design.
Location: Ceramics Study Galleries, Asia & Europe, room 137, case 27, shelf 8