Pen Box with a Portrait of a Qajar Prince

mid-19th century

The Khalili Collections

The Khalili Collections

The top of this box is decorated in the vertical format with a full-length portrait of a young Qajar prince, perhaps Nasir al-Din Shah before his accession. The prince wears a tall astrakhan cap, a black frock-coat with gold-embroidered facings and two orders, and black trousers with a wide gold stripe. Above him there are indications of clouds and a landscape, and below him two antelopes. Most of the ground is sparkling gold. The sides of the cover have rococo panels with masses of flowers and the occasional bird, while the base of the cover and the sides of the sliding compartment have gold floral scrolls, fruiting vines and birds on a dark-green ground, within a gold floral border. The box is unsigned, but it may be attributed to Muhammad Isma'il.


  • Title: Pen Box with a Portrait of a Qajar Prince
  • Date Created: mid-19th century
  • Location Created: Isfahan, Iran
  • Type: ARTIFACT
  • Medium: papier-mâché cover and sliding compartment with rounded ends, painted and varnished

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