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A lacquer penbox, signed 'Ya Shah Najaf' (Najaf 'Ali), Persia, Qajar, circa 1850-60 
JUMP TO LOT
63
A lacquer penbox, signed 'Ya Shah Najaf' (Najaf 'Ali), Persia, Qajar, circa 1850-60 
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Arts of the Islamic World

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A lacquer penbox, signed 'Ya Shah Najaf' (Najaf 'Ali), Persia, Qajar, circa 1850-60 
lacquered papier-maché box with rounded ends and sliding tray, decorated with gilt lobed panels featuring Shaykh San'an given wine by the Christian maiden, the sides with hunting scenes, the base of the cover and the side of the sliding compartment with floral scrolls
21.5 by 3.5cm.
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Catalogue Note

The signature ya shah-e najaf is connected with the artistic production of Najaf 'Ali (1795-1863 AD), the great master of lacquer of the first half of nineteenth century. The signature also refers to Imam 'Ali and his burial site in Najaf, Iraq. A closely-comparable penbox to the present example, decorated with the same scenes on the top, is in the Nasser D. Khalili Collection (Raby 1997, pp.68-69, no.258), where it is attributed to the painter Muhammad Isma'il, one of Najaf 'Ali's most famous pupils. For more on Najaf 'Ali and his circle see ibid, pp.22-89.

Arts of the Islamic World

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London