PEN BOX - Aga Khan Museum
Aga Khan Development Network
 
The Aga Khan Museum: Wood and Lacquer - Qajar, dated 1282 H/1865 CE  Place your mouse over the image
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Classification
Wood and Lacquer

Object name
Pen Box

Geography
Iran

Period
Qajar, dated 1282 H/1865 CE

Dynasty
Qajar

Materials and technique
Papier-mâché, painted and lacquered

Dimensions
length 26.8 cm

Accession number
AKM00643

Description

The visual arts flourished under Qajar patronage in the nineteenth century and lacquer painting was a particular speciality. The scribe’s humble pen box was often transformed into a work of beauty and this box is no exception: it is highly decorated with images of familiar political, legendary, literary, and mystical themes. It shows, in a central cartouche, the Qajar ruler Nasir al-Din Shah (r. 1848-96) holding court; legendary kings are crowned; poems of Sa'di and Nizami are illustrated; and there are six portraits of Sufi dervishes. This important pen box is signed by the Qajar painter laureate (naqqash bashi), Muhammad Isma'il, who was active in the mid-nineteenth century and famous for his lacquer paintings. On the inside of the drawer, it contains a miniature self-portrait of the artist wearing an Astrakhan hat, paint brush in hand, in an oval cartouche. A couplet above and below identifies the artist’s name, Isma'il.

Other similar artefacts

21 pieces found

BEAM-WITH-QURPANIC-INSCRIPTIONPOLYCHROME-BEAMBEAM-WITH-QURPANIC-INSCRIPTIONSCRIBEPS-CABINETPANEL-WITH-VERSES-BY-HAFIZBEGGARPS-BOWL-KASHKULBOWTAMBURA-OR-TAMPURABEAM-WITH-QURPANIC-INSCRIPTIONPOLYCHROME-DOORSDOORS-WITH-GEOMETRIC-AND-FLORAL-MOTIVESCORBELSCORBELSBeamBEAMBEAMTRIANGULAR-CEILING-PANEL-WITH-INTERLACING-GEOMETRIC-DESIGNSBeamRababTambourines-Daff-and-Naqqar-DrumsViolin-small-lutes-and-Rabab-or-Rewap