• The Hunt Star Tile

    The Hunt Star Tile


On this tile, we see a spotted hound standing with his back legs in mid-stride, and his head thrown back in a silent howl. He seems to be a type of saluki, with his distinctive narrow waist and long, shaggy ears. Salukis have been celebrated hunting companions for millennia, from Northern Africa to China, and were particularly favoured in Arabia, Iran, and Central Asia. As fleet-footed sight hounds, they are particularly skilled at taking down fast prey such as gazelles or hares.

This eight-pointed, star-shaped moulded-ware tile is painted with lustreware and touches of a cobalt blue glaze. Lustreware was one of the great luxury ceramics of mediaeval Iran due to the expertise, and double kiln firing, needed to produce it.

Ilkhanid, Iran (Kashan)
Late 13th–mid-14th century
Glazed ceramic