Collection of Hamid Kooros Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Mubarraz al-Shu'ara
Pen Box with Figures in Indoor and Outdoor Settings, and Medallions
Artists' Tools
Work Type
pen box
1321 H (1903-04)
Qajar period
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Watercolor, gold-colored pigments, and lacquer over brass layer on pasteboard
3.6 × 3.7 × 21.6 cm (1 7/16 × 1 7/16 × 8 1/2 in.)
Kazem R. Kooros, Houston, Texas (by 1969), gift; to his son Hamid Kooros, Houston, Texas (by 1979), gift; to the Harvard Art Museums, 2017.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Lily and Hamid Kooros
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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This pen box is richly decorated on the top, front, and back with figural designs. The largest cartouches that hold the center of each side contain vignettes of Iranian men. The top central cartouche bears the artist’s signature and date and a composition of men and boys gathered in a brick courtyard to hear the words of a figure whose green turban suggests he is a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad. This scene is flanked by cartouches of beautiful young women in Iranian dress reclining in terraces, attended by servants. On the front and back sides, the central cartouche of a gathering of men is flanked by oval medallions of a young man and women in Iranian dress. The ends bear continuous compositions of human and animal figures traversing the landscape. All figural vignettes are framed with gold rococo scrollwork.
Publication History

David Roxburgh and Mary McWilliams, ed., Technologies of the Image: Art in 19th-Century Iran, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2017), pp.156-157, cat. 76

Exhibition History

Technologies of the Image: Art in 19th-Century Iran, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 08/26/2017 - 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