top © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2014.342
People
Mubarak Mirza ibn Mahmud
Title
Pen Box with Persian Woman of Letters
Classification
Artists' Tools
Work Type
pen box
Date
c. 1850-1885
Places
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran
Period
Qajar period
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/351860
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Opaque watercolor, gold-colored pigments, and lacquer on pasteboard
Dimensions
3.4 × 3.7 × 21.7 cm (1 5/16 × 1 7/16 × 8 9/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription:


    Top:



    رقم مبرک ميرزا



    Painted by Mubarak Mirza







    Back:



    ای ایاز از عشق تو گشتم چو مو



    ماندم از قصه تو قصهٔ من بگو



    O Ayaz! I’ve become like a strand of hair from your love,



    I could not go along with your story, speak of my story.



    [Couplet from the fifth chapter of the Mathnavi by Jalal al- Din Rumi]







    Inside cover (maker’s seal):



    صح تراج



    The standard of Taraj
Provenance
Ezzat-Malek Soudavar, Geneva, Switzerland (by 2014), by descent; to her son Abolala Soudavar, Houston, Texas (2014), gift; to Harvard Art Museums, 2014.

Note:
Ezzat-Malek Soudavar (1913-2014) formed this collection over a period of sixty years. She purchased the works of art on the international art market.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of A. Soudavar in memory of his mother Ezzat-Malek Soudavar
Accession Year
2014
Object Number
2014.342
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
Cover and sliding compartment with rounded ends. The top is decorated in vertical format with three cartouches containing images of an elegantly dressed Persian woman embracing her beloved (upper), writing a letter (central), and caressing a small child (lower). The front and back show the same woman reclining against cushions and reading a book. The base and compartment are decorated with a gold arabesque on a red background.
Publication History

Massumeh Farhad and Mary McWilliams, ed., A Collector’s Passion: Ezzat-Malek Soudavar and Persian Lacquer, Harvard Art Museums and Freer/Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution (Cambridge, MA/Washington, D.C., 2017), pp. 29-31, fig. 3; p. 151, cat. 157

Exhibition History

32Q: 3620 University Study Gallery, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 08/17/2017 - 01/07/2018

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This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu