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Pen-case - Portable Pen-Case (qalamdan)

Portable Pen-Case (qalamdan)

  • Object:

    Pen-case

  • Place of origin:

    Khorasan (probably, made)
    Iran (made)

  • Date:

    1220-1230 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Hammered brass sheet. Decorated with champlevé designs, the ground filled with black composition.

  • Museum number:

    1175-1903

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

The body in plan is an elongated triangle culminating in a four-lobed pointed arch at the widest end. The sides are vertical and each features epigraphic inscription.

The trilobed section is engraved with a woman-headed bird with her body in profile, encircled by a cusped halo of glory, she stands on a scrolling foliate ground.

In the long triangular section four animals walk from left to right: a hare, a cheetah and two wolves(?), on a scrolling foliate ground, all enclosed by a double fillet. This is the underside of the box, the top side is missing. The narrow end is pierced by a hole.

The flat finial is pierced sideways with a hole.

Patina: brassy yellow. Remains of lead (?) soldering near tip.

Place of Origin

Khorasan (probably, made)
Iran (made)

Date

1220-1230 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown (made)

Materials and Techniques

Hammered brass sheet. Decorated with champlevé designs, the ground filled with black composition.

Marks and inscriptions

Completely (?), with bliss and d[ivine grace], with bliss and divine grace.
Persian; Kufic; epigraphic band on the sides of the tri-lobed end; engraved

Godliness and lasting life, laudation and praise, magnificence and grandeur, magnificence, godliness and beneficence.
Might and lasting life, laudation and praise, magnificence and grandeur, godliness and beneficence, knowledge and fidelity.
naskhi; long sides

Dimensions

Height: 2 cm maximum, Length: 24.7 cm, Width: 3.65 cm maximum

Object history note

Purchased for £8 from J.Sassoon & Co., 62 Mortimer St, Cavendish Square, London W1, 2 August 1903.

Descriptive line

Hammered brass sheet decorated with champlevé designs.

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

Melikian-Chirvani, A.S. Islamic Metalwork from the Iranian World, London:HMSO, 1982, p124-125, ISBN 0 11 290252 9
The Survey, reproduced pl. 1288 B

Labels and date

PEN-CASE.
Engraved brass, filled in with black composition.
PERSIAN; 15th CENTURY. [Used until 10/2002]

Materials

Brass

Techniques

Hammered

Subjects depicted

Hare; Wolf; Cheetah

Categories

Islam

Collection

Middle East Section

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