Persian Antique Clay Art Tile
- Antique item
This beautiful antique polychrome tile from Persia (now Iran) was made in the 19th century, during the Qajar Dynasty (1794-1925). The hand painted scene, molded so it is raised in relief from the surface of the rough clay, depicts a falconer, mounted on his horse and assisted by his stable boy, with his falcon perched on his left arm, wings spread. There is a 1 1/2 inch wide band of floral designs along the top edge; imagine the lovely effect that dozens of these tiles would have side by side in a frieze on a wall or along a ceiling. The palette of colors used includes cobalt blue, soft green, mauve, and black that is diluted to a grey wash for the horse. It is nicely executed, unlike some of the cruder paintings on these tiles that we've seen. After the tile was molded and painted, an alkaline glaze was applied and fired, protecting the artwork and giving the tile its lustrous sheen.
The tile measures 9 1/2 inches from top to bottom, 5 1/2 inches wide, about 5/8 inch thick and it weighs 2 pounds. There is paint loss in one spot (the stable boy is missing most of his right hand) and when the tile was removed from its original installation, a small chunk was broken off on the back of the bottom right corner, which also created a 1/2 inch long hairline in the glaze. The upper left hand corner also has a small chip, but all in all the tile is well preserved and very decorative. Given its size, it could be framed at minimal cost, but can be hung with a removable adhesive hanger and also propped on a stand or a shelf. However you display it, it adds an ancient, exotic touch.