first half of the 13th century AD
stonepaste body, with moulded relief decoration and lustre over an opaque glaze stained cobalt blue and turquoise
41 x 47.5cm
The tile is decorated with a seated female figure under a cusped arch. The crowning frieze bears seated female figures holding cups in their right hands: one figure projects and would have overlapped the adjacent tile. The arch bears an indecipherable inscription.
A related group of frieze tiles, bearing cusped arches with verses from Firdawsi’s Shahnamah, is thought to be from Takht-i Sulayman, the summer palace built for Abaqa Khan in the 1270s, high in the mountains of north-west Iran. Takht-i Sulayman is the best-preserved Ilkhanid secular building and its tiles, incidentally, are among the earliest recorded examples of the use of motifs from Chinese sources in Ilkhanid art.
J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.233, pp.194–5.