Moslem Mishmastnehi; Mohammad Mortazavi
This article aims to reveal the technical and historical characterizations of gilded tile decorations from the Islamic period architecture of Iran. This research is based on several ...
This article aims to reveal the technical and historical characterizations of gilded tile decorations from the Islamic period architecture of Iran. This research is based on several years’ observation in different cities, associated with technical analyses and bibliographical researches. The assessments of results show this technology initially appeared in Miani wares and tiles in Seljuk era. Gilding techniques over silica glazed materials continued on Lajvardina tiles and wares in the Ilkhanid period and thereafter reappeared on various other types of tiles such as Haft Rang (seven-colored), monochrome or Muarraq (Persian-tile mosaics) from Timurid until the Safavid period. Although one sample of gilded tile from Qazvin has been reported from the Qajar, this technique seems to be forgotten after the Safavid period. Gilded tiles have a thin layer of gold as a part of their design (powder of leaf) that was fixed in different technical styles on the surface of glaze. In some samples, the gold leaf simply covered the whole surface of the tiles such as Muarraq pieces, whereas in some other cases it formed very sophisticated decoration. Technical details of gold attachment to the glaze substrate were the subject of different scientific researches. A brief technical description of this technology by Abu al-Qasim al-Kashani in his book Arayes al-Javaher va Nafayes al-Atayeb written in 1301, and aforementioned analytical studies shed new lights on this topic and make it possible to provide a historical and technical overview on this subject.