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Tile – Building Ceramic – Iran 13th – 14th Century

Tile - Building Ceramic - Iran 13th - 14th Century - Pergamon Museum
Tile – Building Ceramic – Iran 13th – 14th Century

This rectangular quartz frit tile is from Iran and was created in the 13th – 14th Century. The relief shows a hunting scene and between the two galloping riders is a deer. The riders have a golden halo surrounding their heads. The hunter on the right holds the reins in his right hand and a sword in his left, while the rider on the left, is turning backwards, holds the bow and arrow in his hands and aims at the deer.

The riders are surrounded by different types of flowers and leaves. Along the upper and lower edge runs a narrow border, which is decorated with repetitive floral motifs. This tile was part of a frieze that adorned the interior walls of a palace and is made of quartz frit.


Fritware refers to a type of pottery which was first developed in the Near East, a technique for “fritware” dating to c. 1300 AD written by Abu’l Qasim reports that the ratio of quartz to “frit-glass” to white clay is 10:1:1. This type of pottery has also been referred to as “stonepaste” and “faience” among other names.

Iznik pottery was produced in Ottoman Turkey as early as the 15th century AD. It consists of a body, slip, and glaze, where the body and glaze are “quartz-frit.” Microscopic analysis reveals that the material that has been labelled “frit” is “interstitial glass” which serves to connect the quartz particles. Frit was also a significant component in some early European porcelains.


  • Why the golden halos?

Tile – Building Ceramic – Iran 13th – 14th Century

  • Name:                    Tile – Building Ceramic – Iran 13th – 14th Century
  • Created                  13th – 14th century
  • Original Location:  Iran
  • Material:                Quartz frit, model embossed, opaque turquoise glaze under blue, white and red livery with gilding
  • Dimensions:          H: 24.5 cm; W: 42.5 cm; Depth: 4 cm
  • Museum:               Pergamon Museum

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Photo Credit: 1) JOM