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Cross-Shaped Tile with Qur'anic Inscriptions

A work made of lusterware, fritware painted in lustre over an opaque white glaze.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of lusterware, fritware painted in lustre over an opaque white glaze.


Ilkhanid dynasty (1256–1353), Mid 13th century



About this artwork

These star and cross-shaped luster tiles were originally part of the dado (lower part of the wall) decoration of the mausoleum of a holy man in Varamin, Iran. Tiles in these two shapes were fitted together to form a continuous panel of decoration. Appropriate for a religious context, each tile features vegetal patterns framed by Qur’anic inscription and is devoid of figural representation.These tiles belong to a larger group of about 150 luster-painted tiles attributed to the mausoleum in Varamin. All 150 tiles are either star or cross-shaped, and they share many typological affinities, such as the use of rich brown luster, the inclusion of Qur’anic scripts, and the predominant appearance of vegetal motifs and arabesques. By the end of the 19th century, all tiles had been removed from the mausoleum by European collectors.


Currently Off View


Arts of Asia




Cross-Shaped Tile with Qur'anic Inscriptions


Varamin (Object found in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1262


Lusterware, fritware painted in lustre over an opaque white glaze


21.8 × 21.7 × 1.4 cm (8 9/16 × 8 1/2 × 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Mary Jane Gunsaulus Collection

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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