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AN IMPRESSIVE SAFAVID TINNED COPPER BOWL
AN IMPRESSIVE SAFAVID TINNED COPPER BOWL

IRAN, DATED AH 1089/1678-79 AD

Details
AN IMPRESSIVE SAFAVID TINNED COPPER BOWL
IRAN, DATED AH 1089/1678-79 AD
The bowl rising from spreading trumpet foot through wide rounded body to flaring rim, the body very finely engraved with a broad band of hunting scenes depicting a variety of animals and huntsmen on foot and on horseback including a dragon and simurgh group, against a ground of scrolling vegetation, a lower band of roundels and scrolling vine, the mouth with a broad band of very elegant strong ta'liq containing invocations to the twelve Imams and the original owner's cartouche bearing the name of Khanum valad-e Dur 'Ali (the offspring of Dur 'Ali) with the date 1[0]89, tinning rubbed, almost all of the black composition still remaining
18in. (46cm.) diam.
Provenance
Anon sale in these Rooms, 25 April 1997, lot 353

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Romain Pingannaud
Romain Pingannaud

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Lot Essay

This large bowl is probably the most impressive to have been published from Safavid Iran combining an upper panel of inscriptions with a lower band of figural scenes. The depictions are well-drawn, and the calligraphy magnificent. There is a comparable albeit smaller example in the Victoria and Albert Museum (A.S. Melikian-Chirvani, Islamic Metalwork from the Iranian World, 8th-18th centuries, London, 1982, no. 153, pp.333-334), which is interesting in that it is dated to 1643-44, a few years earlier than the present example. Indeed, were it not for the date inscribed on the present piece, it would have been thought to have dated from the first half of the seventeenth century.

This bowl is also very similar to a large example in the Prince of Wales Museum, Bombay (The Indian Heritage - Court Life and the Arts under Mughal Rule, exhibition catalogue, London, 1982, no.488, p.144). The figural drawing in particular is very close. Yet the scenes show a combination of Safavid ideas with Mughal depictions. While the calligraphy on our bowl is stronger, in many other respects the similarities are so close as to make one wonder whether they were made in the same place. Certainly the date on this bowl must have a bearing on the dating of the Indian example.

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