In Pictures: the Eight Pointed Star Tiles of Iran

Eight-pointed star tiles once decorated the walls of shrines, mosques & palaces in Iran. Many of these tiles were taken by archaeologists & are now found scattered across the world in museums & collections — fragmented & de-contextualized.

Here’s a look at beautiful Iranian star tiles in museums

Originally tweeted by Bayt Al Fann (@BaytAlFann) on February 1, 2022.

1. Eight-pointed Star Tile, 1262 (AH Muharram 661) | Ashmolean Museum

Dynasty: Il-Khanid Dynasty (1256-1353) or earlier. Made in Iran

Kashan (probable place of creation). Imamzada Yahya shrine (original location)

2. Eight-pointed Star-Shaped Tile, second half 13th–14th century, Iran | The Met Museum

Decorated using a method called lajvardina, a term that references lapis lazuli, & would have been part of a star-and-cross panel adorning the walls of an Ilkhanid palace, mosque, or mausoleum.

3. Eight-pointed Star Tile, 13th century | Philadelphia Museum of Art

Made in Iran, Asia | Dynasty: Il-Khanid Dynasty (1256-1353) or earlier. This tile would have been part of a shrine or mosque

4. Eight-pointed Star Tile, 1286-7, Iran, Kashan | V&A, London

Tile of grey fritware, painted in blue & in yellow lustre on a white slip with Qur’anic inscription – surahs 108 & 110 کتب فی شهور سنه 685

This tile would have been part of a shrine or mosque.

5. Eighth-pointed star tile, c. 1261–62, Kashan, Ilkhanid period, 13th century | Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Luster tiles such as this one, with their metallic glaze, lined the walls of religious & secular buildings, reflecting a golden incandescence. Possibly from interior of Imamzada Yahya shrine.

6. Eight-pointed Star Tile, Kashan, Iran; late 13th century AD | The Khalili Collections

Tiles with dragons & hares. The treatment of the animals is similar to tiles dated 664–5 AH (1266–7 AD) from the Imamzadeh Ja‘far at Damghan, Iran.

7. Eight-pointed Star Tile with Vegetal Motifs and Inscription; 1261-1262, Iran, Kashan, Ilkhanid period | Philadelphia Museum of Art

The two large stars, which were possibly from interior of a Imamzada Yahya shrine with verses from the Qurʾan in Arabic.

8. Eight-pointed star tile with Chinese-inspired lotus design, 1328 (dated AD) Kashan, Iran | The British Museum

Around the edge is a border inscription in Arabic cursive script, Ilkhanid dynasty.

This tile would have been part of a shrine or mosque.

9. Eight-pointed star tile, 1266 Iran, Kashan, Ilkhanid period, 13th century | Cleveland Museum of Art

Luster Wall Tile with a Couple. Around the edge is a border inscription with a poem. Such tiles were used to decorate the interior walls of palaces & buildings.

10. Eight-pointed Star Tile with Vegetal Motifs and Inscription | 1261-1262/660 A. Iran, Kashan, Ilkhanid period | LACMA

Fritware, overglaze luster-painted. Possibly from interior of Imamzada Yahya shrine with verses from the Qurʾan in Arabic

11. Eight-pointed Star Tile, 13th-14th century, Iran, Ilkhanid Period | Brooklyn Museum

Depicting a deer & with a border & inscription, would have formed one unit of a star & cross tile dado embellishing a Sufi shrine. Texts from 12th-century mystic poet Awhad al-Din Kirmani

12. Eight-pointed Star Tile, 13th-14th century, Iran, Ilkhanid Period | Honolulu Museum of Art

Glazed, stone-paste, underglaze-painted, overglaze-painted luster. Tiles such tiles like this were used to decorate the interior walls of buildings & palaces.

13. Eight-pointed Star Tile, 1201-1300, Iran, Ilkhanid Period | Art Institute of Chicago

Tiles with dragons were found at Takht-i Sulayman, the summer palace constructed in the 1270s for Abaqa, the Mongol Ilkhan. Tiles like this were used to decorate the interior walls of buildings.

14. Eight-pointed Star, 1256–1353, Iran, Ilkhanid Period | Saint Louis Art Museum

Mongol rulers constructed many shrines throughout Iran in the late 13th century, and adorned them with luster tiles, such as this one.


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In Pictures: the Eight Pointed Star Tiles of Iran