The tiles with birds all contain inscriptions from the Qur'an. Those with arabesques, with two exceptions which also have verses from the Qur'an, all have verses in Persian. Two of the arabesque and floral tiles with Persian verses also have incomplete dates: "fi shuhur sana sitta" (in the course of the year six) and "fi sana sab" (in the year seven). Fuller details of the individual inscriptions are available on request.
A very similar panel of tiles from the collection of Theodor Sehmer was sold in these Rooms 27 April 2004, lot 224 (see also Johanna Zick-Nissen (et al), Islamische Keramik, Düsseldorf, 1973, no.132, p.106). A related further example with fewer tiles is in the Victoria and Albert Museum (Linda Komaroff and Stefano Carboni, The Legacy of Ghengis Khan, New York, 2002, fig.120, p.102; Watson, Oliver, Persian Lustre Ware, London, 1985, pl.M - detail only).
Sheila Blair showed that the shrine of 'Abd al-Samad in Natanz, near Kashan, contained a dado of six rows of star and cross tiles topped by a band of moulded inscribed frieze tiles (Blair, S., The Ilkhanid Shrine Complex at Natanz, Iran, Cambridge, Mass, 1986). The larger frieze tiles suffer, as do the present tiles, from the attention of an iconoclast in times past who has carefully chipped off the heads of each and every bird. The date of the frieze is given as Shawwal 707/March-April 1308 on a tile in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Carbone, Stefano and Masuya, Tomoko, Persian Tiles, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1993, no.20, p.25). Whether all the present tiles came from the shrine in Natanz or, which seems more probable from the inscriptions, just those with the birds, is not certain.