top Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Najaf `Ali
Pen Box with Indian Woman in a Landscape
Artists' Tools
Work Type
pen box
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran
Qajar period
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Opaque watercolor, gold-colored pigments, and lacquer on pasteboard
3.7 × 3.7 × 22.8 cm (1 7/16 × 1 7/16 × 9 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription:
    يا شاه نجف۱۲۶۴
    O Lord of Najaf! 1847-48
Ezzat-Malek Soudavar, Geneva, Switzerland (by 2014), by descent; to her son Abolala Soudavar, Houston, Texas (2014), gift; to Harvard Art Museums, 2014.

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
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Cover and sliding compartment with rounded ends. The top is decorated in vertical format with a full-length figure of a woman in Indian dress standing in a landscape. She holds a circular fan behind her head. A duck and a tiny deer occupy the foreground, while trees, mountains, and a building occupy the background. The sides are divided into three vignettes of figures in landscape, separated by oval medallions containing portrait busts of young men and women in European, Indian, and Persian dress. The central vignettes feature hunters on horseback. The base and sliding compartment are decorated with gold arabesque on a black 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), p. 124, cat. 75

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