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No. 13     Frieze tile from Takht-e Soleyman


Il-Khanid: Takht-e Solayman, 1270s

Moulded fritware, opaque with glaze, overglaze lustre, cobalt and copper

London, British Museum, 1878.12-30.573.1


A number of large frieze tiles survive from Takht-e Soleyman, the Il-Khanid Summer Palace in Azerbaijan. They bear lines from the Shahnameh in blue on moulded arches. This line, ‘Now is the time to drink the wholesome wine’, is in the voice of Ferdowsi, speaking to his audience. The poet echoes the triumphant conclusion of prince Esfandiyar’s defeat of Arjasp (No. 55), but then moves on to his own need for patronage.



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