The top of this pencase is decorated with versions of the large mural paintings in the Chihil Sutun Palace in Isfahan. The images are identified in small cartouches as: Shah 'Abbas and Abd al-Mu'min Khan; Shah 'Abbas II and Khalifa Sultan; and Shah Tahmasp and Humayun Shah. On the sides are depicted the battles between Sultan Selim the Rumi and Shah Isma'il; and Muhammad Shah Hindi and Nadir Shah.
A penbox with exactly the same iconography is in the Khalili Collection (N. D. Khalili, B. W. Robinson and T. Stanley: Lacquer of the Islamic Lands, part two, London, 1997, no.249, p.58). That pencase is signed by Kazim b. Najaf 'Ali. The style of the present example certainly accords with the school of lacquer painting begun by Najaf 'Ali; the style of the present example however seem more like that of Muhammad Isma'il than Kazim. The figures are more individual and the black outlines less pronounced than in the example signed by Kazim. The individual figure studies are very close to those of signed works by Muhammad Isma'il.
The most conclusive evidence of all however is supplied by the flower drawing inside the cover. This is worked from exactly the same cartoon as the interior of a penbox signed by Muhammad Isma'il and now in the Khalili Collection (Khalili, Robinson and Stanley, op.cit., no.243, pp.50-52).
For other penboxes by this artist, please see lots 93 and 99.