Ink Pot

ca. 1510-1520 (made)
Ink Pot thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This inkwell is one of the last examples of inlaid metalwork made in Iran. It was probably used by a high official of the Safavid government. The poems on it include the wish that 'the pen may write the Sultan's official signature with ink from this well’. The inkwell was originally attached to a pen case.

Although production of objects of inlaid brass and tinned copper continued, around 1550 a new type of brassware with fine, engraved decoration emerged in Iran. Stylised plants and other ornament were shown in relief against a hatched ground, originally filled with a black compound. The decoration was often arranged in bands or cartouches that matched the shape of the object. Poetic inscriptions in the elegant ‘nasta’liq’ style of Persian calligraphy were also common. Human and animal motifs, absent since before 1400, reappeared.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Ink Pot
  • Lid
Materials and Techniques
Brass, engraved and inlaid with silver
Brief Description
Inkwell with silver inlay, Iran (possibly Tabriz), 1510-1520.
Physical Description
Ink pot with cylindrical base with onion-domed lid, surmounted by a small loop. Pot is engraved with epigraphic friezes around base and top, and both lid and pot are decorated with panels and cartouches containing engraved inscription and geometric designs. Parts of the engraved areas are inlaid with silver.
Dimensions
  • Height: 9cm
  • Width: 4.4cm
Styles
Marks and Inscriptions
(signed on the base)
Gallery Label
  • Jameel Gallery Inkwell with Silver Inlay Iran, possibly Tabriz 1510-20 This inkwell is one of the last examples of inlaid metalwork made in Iran. It was probably used by a high official of the Safavid government - the poems on it include the wish that, 'the pen may write the Sultan's official signature with ink from this well.' The inkwell was originally attached to a pen case. Brass inlaid with silver and a black composition. Signed by Mirak Husayn Yazdi Museum no. 2-1883(Jameel Gallery)
  • INK - POT Brass, engraved and inlaid with silver. Signed on the base by Mirak Husayn of Yazd. PERSIAN; early 16th century.(Old label)
Subject depicted
Summary
This inkwell is one of the last examples of inlaid metalwork made in Iran. It was probably used by a high official of the Safavid government. The poems on it include the wish that 'the pen may write the Sultan's official signature with ink from this well’. The inkwell was originally attached to a pen case.



Although production of objects of inlaid brass and tinned copper continued, around 1550 a new type of brassware with fine, engraved decoration emerged in Iran. Stylised plants and other ornament were shown in relief against a hatched ground, originally filled with a black compound. The decoration was often arranged in bands or cartouches that matched the shape of the object. Poetic inscriptions in the elegant ‘nasta’liq’ style of Persian calligraphy were also common. Human and animal motifs, absent since before 1400, reappeared.
Bibliographic Reference
A. S. Melikian-Chirvani, Islamic Metalwork from the Iranian World, 8-18th Centuries, London, 1982, pp.283-84, cat. no. 119.
Collection
Accession Number
2:1 to 2-1883

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record createdMay 3, 2000
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