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    Sale 12241

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    20 October 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 35

    A SAFAVID CUT-STEEL PANEL

    IRAN, AH 972/1564-65 AD

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A SAFAVID CUT-STEEL PANEL
    IRAN, AH 972/1564-65 AD
    The cartouche flat
    9¾in. (23.6cm.) across


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    Technically steel panels of this type required great skill to make. First a master-scribe would have copied the inscription on paper and transferred it to the steel by means of a stencil or pounce. The metalworker would then need to capture the elegance of the calligraphy with what were a cumbersome set of tools - something he clearly performed with the utmost skill. Steel being primarily used for weapons, it is likely that the maker was a sword-smith trained in the discipline of cutting and forging pattern-welded steel. Esin Atil, when writing about a similar panel exhibited in 'The Unity of Islamic Art' writes that "steel reached a peak of decorative perfection under the Safavids in the 16th and 17th centuries" (Esin Atil, The Unity of Islamic Art, exhibition catalogue, Riyadh, 1985, no. 96, pp.120-21). A similar panel to those offered here is in the British Museum (The Arts of Islam, exhibition catalogue, London, 1976, no.235, p.200). Another sold in these Rooms, 13 April 2010, lot 110. That example had its original gilt copper backing plate, giving an idea of how these magnificent panels would have looked when still attached to their original structures.

    Saleroom Notice

    Please note that the Gulf Cooperation Council has imposed a ban on the importation of Iranian goods to or via its member states.  Some of the member states are enforcing the ban strictly such as Saudi Arabia.  Please check with your shippers on whether you will be able to ship Iranian artworks to the GCC member states.