Works by Najaf 'Ali are often signed 'ya Shah-i Najaf' (Oh King of Najaf), in reference to the burial site of Imam 'Ali. Most active during the mid-19th century he was followed later by his sons and other members of his family. Najaf 'Ali is recorded as being particularly fond of painting images of European women and Christian religious scenes. See Nasser D. Khalili, B.W. Robinson and Tim Stanley, Lacquer of the Islamic Lands, vol.II, London, 1997, pl.267-268, pp.75-76.
A qalamdan signed Najaf 'Ali and painted with an identical scene sold at Christie's King Street, 6 October 2011, lot 272.