box (containers); lid (containers)

Rectangular lidded box made from lacquered paper. The sides of the box are covered with painted hunting scenes. There is a gold inscription in Persian around the edge of the lid. The exterior surfaces of the lid are also painted with hunting scenes, with a small portrait of a lady in the centre of each of the long sides. There is a mirror set into the inside of the lid. The interior of the box is black. Overall the box is quite badly damaged, with some areas in which the lacquer has been lost.

This box dates from the Qajar period in Iran. The inscriptions on the box are 4 distiches taken from the diwan of Qaani (1808-1853) who was a famous poet during the Qajar period. The qasida from which these inscriptions are taken were written to eulogize Hussein Khan-i Saheb Ekhtiyar, who was probably a governor during the reign of Muhammad Shah Qajar. (The qasida is named ‘Eulogy to Hussein Khan-i Saheb Ekhtiyar’ in the diwan). Below are the inscriptions with an approximate translation. The words in brackets correspond to the damaged sections of the box. First Image: [بهار] آمد که از گلبن همي بانگ هزار آيد بهر [سا]عت [خروش مر]غ زار از مرغزار آيد تو گويي ارغنون بستند بر هر شاخ و هر برگي (?) Spring has come, for from the rose-bushes comes the sound of the nightingale; every hour, one can hear the cry of the bird from the meadows. It is as if there are organs hanging from each and every branch and leaf; Second Image: ز بس بانگ تذرو و صلصل و دراج و سار آيد بجوشد مغز جان چون بوي گل از بوستان خيزد for all the cock pheasants and wood-pigeons and francolins and starlings singing. The soul moves as the smell of flowers rises from the garden; Third Image: بپرد مرغ دل چون بانگ مرغ از شاخسار آيد خروش عندليب و صوت سار و ناله قمري گهي از گل گهي از سروبن گه از چنار آيد the bird of the heart flies as it hears the birds sing in branches. The cry of the nightingale and the sound of starling and the lamentation of the turtle dove; is heard sometimes from the flowers, sometimes from the cypress tree, and sometimes from the plane tree. Fourth Image: يکي بر کف نهد لاله که ترکيب قدح دارد يکي بر گل کند تحسين کزو بوي نگار آيد One holds in their hand a tulip that has the shape of a drinking vessel; another admires the flower for it smells like the lover.

Collection Information

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