top Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2014.323
People
Attributed to the Circle of Najaf `Ali
Title
Pen Box with the Virgin and Child, Elderly Saint, and European Women
Classification
Artists' Tools
Work Type
pen box
Date
c. 1850
Places
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran
Period
Qajar period
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/351845
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Opaque watercolor, gold-colored pigments, and lacquer on pasteboard
Dimensions
3.6 × 3.7 × 23.6 cm (1 7/16 × 1 7/16 × 9 5/16 in.)
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
2014.323
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 figures. The central cartouche contains the Virgin and Child, a kneeling attendant, with and elderly male figure, perhaps a saint, clasping his hands in the background. The upper and lower cartouches feature three-quarter length portraits of European women with flowers in their hair. The sides are decorated with figural vignettes, interspersed with portrait medallions of European women and one man. On both front and back, the central vignette features a gathering of dervishes; rural scenes occupy the outermost vignettes. The base is painted with a gold arabesque against a red ground.
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), p. 126, cat. 81

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