Collection of Saeed Kouros © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2018.7
People
Zayn al-ʿAbidin [al-Imami]
Title
Pen box with medallions on floral ground
Classification
Artists' Tools
Work Type
pen box
Date
1270 H (1853-54)
Period
Qajar period
Culture
Persian
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Watercolor, gold-colored pigments, and lacquer over brass layer on pasteboard
Dimensions
3.8 × 3.9 × 22.4 cm (1 1/2 × 1 9/16 × 8 13/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: By the artist, written on the prunus trunks
    Ya Mīr Zayn
    kamtarīn Zayn al-`Ābidīn
    1270
    [translation]
    O Mir Zayn!
    The most humble Zayn al-`Abidin
    1853-54
Provenance
Kazem R. Kooros, Houston, Texas (by 1969), gift; to his son Saeed Kouros, Houston, Texas (by 1979), gift; to the Harvard Art Museums, 2018.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Saeed Kouros in honor of Kazem R. Kooros
Accession Year
2018
Object Number
2018.7
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
Oblong pen box consisting of a cover and sliding compartment with rounded ends. The top bears three lobed medallions and two pendants, all outlined in gold. These are set against a reddish ground beautifully decorated with symmetrical designs of small flowers and leaves. The three medallions hold vignettes of birds perched on the branches of flowering prunus plants set against a black background. The inscriptions are written on the prunus trunks. Symmetrical floral compositions fill the pendants. The sides and ends bear horizontal segments filled with floral scrolls against a red background. These alternate with smaller segments with iris and poppies set against a dark brown background. The base is decorated with fine gold scrollwork on dark brown background.
Exhibition History

Technologies of the Image: Art in 19th-Century Iran, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 08/26/2017 - 01/07/2018

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or 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