Incorrect Username, Email, or Password
Rectangular mirror case with painting of figures surrounding child

This rectangular case consists of a mirror surrounded by a yellow frame with a botanical pattern. A lid sits within the frame. The lid is painted with a scene in which a medium-skinned woman holds a child on her lap. Three white-bearded men surround the pair. On the right, two medium-skinned women bow toward the woman and child. On the back of the case is a different scene showing the woman holding the child surrounded by kneeling women. The back of the lid shows five figures seated on a terrace.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Attributed to the Circle of Najaf `Ali
Mirror Case with the Virgin and Child with Attendants
Work Type
mirror case
c. 1800-1850
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran
Qajar period
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Opaque watercolor, gold-colored pigments, and lacquer on pasteboard
frame: 23.4 × 15 × 1.7 cm (9 3/16 × 5 7/8 × 11/16 in.)
lid: 21.2 × 12.9 × 0.5 cm (8 3/8 × 5 1/16 × 3/16 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
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

The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request.


Rectangular mirror case with fitted lid. The outer surfaces of the mirror case feature open-terrace scenes, with figures of the seated Virgin and Child and various attendants. In the backgrounds, putti hover over trees and fanciful architecture. The inner surface features a young prince and his attendants visiting a religious sage. The figures occupy a double-balustraded terrace in the middle ground. The background offers a vista of fanciful European towers with arched openings set within a riverine landscape.

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. 111, cat. 38
  • David Roxburgh and Mary McWilliams, ed., Technologies of the Image: Art in 19th-Century Iran, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2017), pp. 43-45, fig. 36; pp. 152-153, cat. 60

Exhibition History

Verification Level

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