Lacking many of the documentary and archival sources available to scholars of the medieval Western world, historians of Islamic architecture are forced to turn to another feature of architectural decoration to reconstruct the building tradition: the written word. A builder's signature on a set of luster tiles in the Metropolitan Museum of Art allows us to connect the set to an early-14th-century shrine complex in central Iran. Reading of another inscription on the tiles, hitherto unnoticed and containing a signature and date, allows us to reconstruct the building campaign at the site and to evaluate the position of builders and potters in Mongol society.

[Footnotes]

[Footnotes]
1
Metropolitan Museum of Art 09.87, published by Maurice Dimand, Handbook of Mohammedan Decorative Arts, New York, 1930, Fig. 75
Dimand
Handbook of Mohammedan Decorative Arts
1930
Marilyn Jenkins, Julia Meech-Pekarik, and Suzanne Valen- stein, Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections, vol. 12, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tokyo, 1977, pl. 89
Jenkins
12
Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections
1977
Marilyn Jenkins, "Islamic Pottery: A Brief History," Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulle- tin 40 (1983), pl. 2910.2307/3259456
2
Oliver Watson, Persian Lustre Ware, London, 1985
Watson
Persian Lustre Ware
1985
Richard Ettinghausen first identified Kishin as a site for luster production in "Evidence for the Identifica- tions of Kashan Pottery," Ars Islamica, 3 (1936), 44-76
Ettinghausen
44
3
Ars Islamica
1936
Oliver Wat- son gives details about luster production in "Persian Lustre Ware, from the 14th to the 19th Centuries," Le Monde Iranien et l'Islam, 3 (1975), 63-80
Watson
63
3
Le Monde Iranien et l'Islam
1975
Grace Guest and Richard Ettinghausen's analysis of the magnificent plate dated Jumada II 607/December 1210 in the Freer Gallery of Art ("The Iconography of a Kishin Lustre Plate," Ars Orientalis, 4 [1961], 25-64)
Guest
25
4
Ars Orientalis
1961
3
Calouste Gulbenkian Collection, Persian Art, Lisbon, 1972, no. 4
Gulbenkian
Persian Art
1972
Etienne Combe, Jean Sauvaget, and Gaston Wiet, eds., Repertoire Chronologique d'Epigraphie Arabe (hereaf- ter RCEA), vol. 14, Cairo, 1954, no. 5283
Combe
14
Repertoire Chronologique d'Epigraphie Arabe
1954
4
Encyclopædia of Ismal, 2nd ed., s.v "Ibn Babawayh" A.A.A. Fezee
Fezee
2
Encyclopædia of Ismal
Sacid Nafisi gives a biography of the Babawayh family in his edition of Ibn Babawayh's treatise Musadaqat al-Ikhwan (Certification of the Brethren)
Nafisi
Musadaqat al-Ikhwan
Husayn Mudarrisi-Tabataba'i, Turbat-i Pakan (Shrine of the Pure), 2 vols., Qum, 1976, II, 102-103
Mudarrisi-Tabataba'i
102
II
Turbat-i Pakan
1976
5
Hamdullah Mustawfi Qazvini, Nuzhat al-Qulub (Heart's De- light), ed. Muhammad Dabir-Siyaqi, Tehran, 1958, 63
Qazvini
63
Nuzhat al-Qulub
1958
L. A. Mayer, Islamic Architects and their Work, Geneva, 1956, 56
Mayer
56
Islamic Architects and their Work
1956
6
Watson, Lustre Ware, 179
179
H. Ritter, J. Ruska, F. Sarre, and R. Winderlich, Orientalische Steinbucher und Persische Fayencetechnik, Istanbul, 1935, P1. IV
Ritter
Orientalische Steinbucher und Persische Fayencetechnik
1935
Watson, Lustre Ware, illustrates the tile in the Victoria and Albert Museum (1527-1876) in Fig. 125
Watson
Lustre Ware
1876
7
Donald Wilber, The Architecture of Islamic Iran: The II Khinid Period, Princeton, 1955, no. 44
Wilber
The Architecture of Islamic Iran: The II Khinid Period
1955
Sheila S. Blair, The Ilkhanid Shrine Complex at Natanz, Harvard Middle East Monograph Papers, Classical Series 1, Cambridge, Mass., 1986, 14- 15 and pls. 93-98
Blair
14
The Ilkhanid Shrine Complex at Natanz
1986
9
Blair, Shrine Complex, Appendix, nos. 3-4, 61-62.
Blair
61
Shrine Complex
10
La Perse, La Chaldee, et la Susiane, Paris, 1887, 211-212.
211
La Perse, La Chaldee, et la Susiane
1887
11
Victoria and Albert Museum 71/1885, first published by Rich- ard Ettinghausen, "Persian Pottery in London Collections," Ars Islamica, 2 (1935), 58-60, Fig. 18
Victoria
58
2
Ars Islamica
1935
Watson, Lustre Ware, 117. Dr. Watson confirmed the information from Museum correspondence
Watson
117
Lustre Ware
13
Watson, Lustre Ware, Appendix ii
1938
RCEA, vol. 13, Cairo, 1954, no. 5070
13
RCEA
1954
14
Hasan Naraqi, Athar-i Tarikhi-yi Shahristanha-yi Kashan wa Natanz (Historical Monuments of Kashan and Natanz), Tehran, n.d., 400.
Naraqi
Athar-i Tarikhi-yi Shahristanha-yi Kashan wa Natanz
15
Mudarrisi-Tabataba'i, Turbat, I, 46-50, Figs. 2-12.
Mudarrisi-Tabataba'i
46
I
Turbat
16
Ibid., II, 42-51, Figs. 34-38.
42
17
Cabd al-Samad's disciple, Cizz al-Din Mahmud al-Kashani, Misbah al-Hidaya wa Miftah al-Kifaya (Light of Divine Guidance and Key to Completeness), Tehran, n.d., 13
Al-kashani
Misbah al-Hidaya wa Miftah al-Kifaya
18
"sabac mi'a hijriya" (seven hundred hijra)
19
Blair, Shrine Complex, chap. 4
20
Ibid.
Appendix, gives the texts of the individual inscriptions
21
Watson, Lustre Ware, Appendix III, nos. 103, 105.
23
Watson, Lustre Ware, 179
179
"Masjid-i Ali, QuhrUd, An Architectural and Epigraphic Survey," Iran, 13 (1975), 63
63
13
Iran
1975
24
The Tarikh-i Uljaytu (History of Uljaytu) has been edited by M. Hambly, Tehran, 1969
Hambly
Tarikh-i Uljaytu
1969
the Ara'is al-Jawahir wa Nafa'is al- Ata'ib (Brides of Gems and Delicacies of Amenities) by Iraj Afshar, Tehran, 1967
Afshar
Ara'is al-Jawahir wa Nafa'is alAta'ib
1967
James Allen prepared a translation into English, "Abli'l Qisim's Treatise on Ceramics," Iran, 11 (1973), 111-120
Allen
111
11
Iran
1973
25
Huma'i, Misbah al-Hidaya, 32-48.
Huma'i
32
Misbah al-Hidaya
This content is only available via PDF.