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Small rectangular mirror case with painting of woman on lid

This case consists of a mirror surrounded by a yellow frame with a vine-like pattern. A lid sits within the frame. The lid is painted red with an orange border. In the center of the lid is a portrait of a young, medium-skinned woman with a red dress, a yellow veil, and dark hair styled in two braids. The woman looks directly at the viewer. One hand is at her waist, and the other holds a flower next to her face. The background behind the woman is black. A lobed border in a rounded diamond shape surrounds the portrait.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Mirror Case with Flowers in Diaper Pattern
Work Type
mirror case
c. 1750
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran
Zand period to early Qajar period
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Opaque watercolor, gold-colored pigments, metallic particles, and lacquer over metallic layer on pasteboard
frame: 11.2 × 8.6 × 0.9 cm (4 7/16 × 3 3/8 × 3/8 in.)
lid: 9.7 × 7.2 × 0.3 cm (3 13/16 × 2 13/16 × 1/8 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

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Rectangular mirror case with fitted lid. The outer faces are decorated with a diaper-patterned repeat of flowers. On the inner face of the lid, a three-quarter length portrait of a young woman holding a flower is set within a lobed ogival medallion.

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. 108, cat. 33

Verification Level

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