Floor tile from the Alhambra Palace, Granada, painted in cobalt blue and lustre, made in Spain, Málaga or Granada, 1350-1400
Width: 19.0 cm, Thickness: 2.8 cm
World Ceramics, room 145
From the Alhambra, Granada. Apparently such tiles were widely used there, though only a small area now survives. The armorial shields represent an interesting use of a European device by the Nasrid Sultans. These bear the legend in Arabic, 'There is no conqueror but God', a motto adopted by Muhammed ben-el Ahmar ca. 1250.
Tin-glazed earthenware floor tile, painted with an interlace design around a central shield, containing the legend in Arabic, 'There is no conqueror but God'. The form of the tile is that of a square, the corners of which are replaced by a quarter-circular space, allowing for the laying of a smaller circular tile between each four large tiles.
Ray (2000) suggests that it is likely that many of the Alhambra tiles were produced in Málaga, but that others could have been made in Granada itself, at kilns set up for that express purpose.
This tile came from the Alhambra, the fortified palatine city of the Nasrid kingdom, built on a hill overlooking Granada in the south of Spain. Such tiles were used to decorate palace floors, though today few remain in place. The armorial shields at their centre represent an interesting use of a European device by the Nasrid Sultans.