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  • Place of origin:

    Iran (made)

  • Date:

    1500-1514 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Mirak Husayn Yazdi

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Brass alloy with engraved decoration and silver inlay

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Inkwell, cylindrical body with domed lid, originally attached to a pen-case (now lost). Decorated with calligraphic inscriptions of Persian poetry and prayer, and cartouches of cruciform illumination and cloud bands, against background of spiralling foliate scrolls.

Place of Origin

Iran (made)


1500-1514 (made)


Mirak Husayn Yazdi

Materials and Techniques

Brass alloy with engraved decoration and silver inlay

Marks and inscriptions

Undo the cover of the inkwell of good fortune, Having laid before you the tip of your pen, Your enemy like the inkwell, black-hearted, That the affairs of this world may be resolved
Poem on the lid

May the pen trace the Sultan's commanding word from this inkwell, May it for ever yield the Water of Life out of its black ink
Lower inscription on the body

Nad-e `Ali-yan [...]
Call unto `Ali, He that makes wonders appear, Thou shalt find Him thy help in distress, Every care, every sorrow shall be dispelled, Through Thy Trusteeship, O `Ali, `Ali, `Ali!
Upper inscription on the body

May he be graced with felicity, That companion of the state/good fortune
Central inscriptions on body

`amal Mirak Husayn Yazdi
The work of Mirak Husayn Yazdi
Base of the inkwell


Height: 8 cm, Diameter: 4.7 cm

Descriptive line

Inkwell, cast brass alloy with silver inlay, decorated with illumination and Persian poetry and prayer, signed by Mirak Husayn Yazdi, possibly Tabriz, Safavid Iran, 1500-1514

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Melikian-Chirvani, Islamic Metalwork from the Iranian World, 8-18th centuries, London, HMSO, 1982, no.119




Middle East Section

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