top Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Attributed to Muhammad Isma`il
Pen Box with Muhammad Shah Qajar, Haji Mirza Aqasi, and Other Officials
Artists' Tools
Work Type
pen box
c. 1834-1848
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran, Isfahan
Qajar period
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Opaque watercolor, gold-colored pigments, and lacquer on pasteboard
3.5 × 4 × 24.3 cm (1 3/8 × 1 9/16 × 9 9/16 in.)
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 horizontal format with a continuous scene of Muhammad Shah Qajar (r. 1834-48) leaning against a cushion, attended by his officials, including on the right Haji Mirza Aqasi (chief minister 1835-1848). Continuous landscape scenes with small scale figures decorate the sides as well: a beardless prince in a horse-drawn carriage accompanied by his retinue on the front side; and soldiers with field artillery on the back side. On the base a flowering grape vine is painted in gold on a red 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), pp. 68-69, ill.; p. 129, cat. 86

Exhibition History

32Q: 3620 University Study Gallery, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 08/17/2017 - 01/07/2018

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