Name of Object:



Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Holding Museum:

Royal Museum, National Museums of Scotland (NMS)

About Royal Museum, National Museums of Scotland (NMS), Edinburgh

Date of Object:

Hegira 11th century / AD 17th century

Museum Inventory Number:

A. 1900.167

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Stone-paste (fritware) with blue, green and turquoise underglaze, over which a clear glaze.


28 cm x 28 cm

Period / Dynasty:



Damascus, Syria.


A stone-paste (fritware) tile that has a stenciled, symmetrical design based on four arabesque cartouches and four rose-like flowers that spring from a central star motif. The cartouches extend towards the tips of larger arabesque medallions in the corners of the tile, while the flowers have two curved stems extending above, ending in half-flowers to the left and right. This tile was part of a larger overall tile scheme.

View Short Description

Tiles like this one are typical of tile production in Ottoman Syria during the AH 11th century / AD 17th century. They were on the whole intended to echo the Iznik style, but a typical feature of Syrian pieces is a palette restricted to blue, green, turquoise without the addition of bole-red.

How date and origin were established:

It is accepted that tiles such as this were produced in Ottoman Syria during the 11th / 17th-century.

How Object was obtained:

Purchased from the Major W. J. Myers Collection in 1900.

How provenance was established:

Tiles such as this one are typical of those produced in Ottoman Syria where the output was largely Iznik ware distinguished by a palette restricted to blue, green and turquoise without the addition of bole-red.

Selected bibliography:

Atasoy, N., and Raby, J., Iznik: The Pottery of Ottoman Turkey, London, 1989, p.232, fig. 411 (For a similar Iznik-produced tile with virtually identical design and related to others placed in the mausoleum of Sultan Selim II in the Ayasofya).

Citation of this web page:

Ulrike Al-Khamis "Tile" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020.;ISL;uk;Mus03;50;en

Prepared by: Ulrike Al-KhamisUlrike Al-Khamis

Ulrike Al-Khamis is Principal Curator for the Middle East and South Asia at the National Museums of Scotland in Edinburgh. She began her academic career in Germany before completing her BA (1st class Hons) in Islamic Art and Archaeology at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London in 1987. The same year she moved to Edinburgh, where she completed her Ph.D. thesis on “Early Islamic Bronze and Brass Ewers from the 7th to the 13th Century AD” in 1994. From 1994 to 1999 she worked as Curator of Muslim Art and Culture for Glasgow Museums and, in 1997, was one of the main instigators of the first ever Scottish Festival of Muslim Culture, SALAAM. Since 1999 she has been based at the Royal Museum in Edinburgh, where she has curated several exhibitions and continues to publish aspects of the collections. In addition to her museum work she has contributed regularly to the teaching of the Fine Arts Department at the University of Edinburgh.

Copyedited by: Mandi GomezMandi Gomez

Amanda Gomez is a freelance copy-editor and proofreader working in London. She studied Art History and Literature at Essex University (1986–89) and received her MA (Area Studies Africa: Art, Literature, African Thought) from SOAS in 1990. She worked as an editorial assistant for the independent publisher Bellew Publishing (1991–94) and studied at Bookhouse and the London College of Printing on day release. She was publications officer at the Museum of London until 2000 and then took a role at Art Books International, where she worked on projects for independent publishers and arts institutions that included MWNF’s English-language editions of the books series Islamic Art in the Mediterranean. She was part of the editorial team for further MWNF iterations: Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean Virtual Museum and the illustrated volume Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean.

True to its ethos of connecting people through the arts, MWNF has provided Amanda with valuable opportunities for discovery and learning, increased her editorial experience, and connected her with publishers and institutions all over the world. More recently, the projects she has worked on include MWNF’s Sharing History Virtual Museum and Exhibition series, Vitra Design Museum’s Victor Papanek and Objects of Desire, and Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s online publication 2 or 3 Tigers and its volume Race, Nation, Class.

MWNF Working Number: UK3 50


 Artistic Introduction

 Timeline for this item

Islamic Dynasties / Period


On display in

MWNF Galleries


See also

Virtual Visit Exhibition Trail

EARLY OTTOMAN ART - Legacy of the Emirates


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