Two Persian harem dancers



Both of these tiles were made between 1600-1640, in Isfahan, Iran to decorate the bathroom of the Harem. The tiles are fritware, with enamel colours, length 26.7cm and width 15.9cm. Both are currently in the Victoria & Albert Museum.

I am not sure why they are described as dancers, as they just seem to be women bathing. If you have an idea why, please post. I find it interesting that they are wearing quite a bit of jewellery, such as anklets on both ankles, bracelets, necklace and earrings. The hands are a solid henna dye, very dark showing that these are women of wealth. Interestingly the feet have been left undecorated.

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4 comments on “Two Persian harem dancers

  1. C says:

    Is it just me who sees both of those as based on the same template image, one mirrored?

    The figures seem, mirroring aside, to be identical, down to the lines on the chest and arm which I can only interpret as creatively drawn breasts.

  2. Raven says:

    Oh my goodness! Were these drawn by someone who had never SEEN a naked woman? They are gorgeous except for the inexplicable shoulder-breast.

  3. doodlejuice says:

    They are wearing bells around their wrist and foot, and seem to hold something an object which might be an instrument with their left hand. Their right hand suggests a dancing pose and is decorated with Henna. These places were more like spa with entertainment for rich women. They would have their private party for occasions such as weddings etc. and would gather in groups going to such places.

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