All Collections
Previous Next
Back to Collection

Instrument Case with Shuttered Mirror

LAQ 11 | Isfahan, Iran

Print Download

Artwork Details

Title: Instrument Case with Shuttered Mirror

Location: Isfahan, Iran

Materials: papier-mâché case, with fitted shutter and drawer, painted and varnished; instruments now missing

Dimensions: 23 x 15.8cm

Accession Number: LAQ 11

Other Notes:

The decoration is very fine work indeed. It is signed, ‘the work of the most humble Muhammad Baqir son of Muhammad ‘Ali, in Isfahan, the seat of sovereignty, over a period of 11 months. It reached completion in the month  of Jumada al-awwal  1187’.

The back of the case shows an Adoration of the Shepherds, Netherlandish in style and doubtless after a European print. The front of the shutter shows a richly dressed woman in European dress, with a coverlet lined with ermine fur over her left arm, a kneeling devotee and female attendants in the background. She appears to be tugging at a string of pearls. The presence of a devotee suggests that the original was a saint, but her vigorous gesture is much more appropriate to a heroine brandishing a sword, hence possibly a version of Judith Triumphant [see MSS 1005]. The inner face of the shutter, which carries the long signature, shows another richly dressed woman in early 18th-century dress standing against a window, evidently after a European formal portrait. The fitted surface of the drawer is decorated with gold scrollwork on a red ground. 


N.D. Khalili, B.W. Robinson & T. Stanley, Lacquer of the Islamic Lands, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume XXII, Part One, London 1996, cat.90, pp. 126–7.
J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.467, p.384.

Related Artworks

Small Flask

JLY 1075
Jaipur, India

Youth in European Dress and Young Woman with Indian Headdress, from a Shahnamah

MSS 1000.1, MSS 1000.2
Isfahan, Iran


POT 684

Calligraphic Composition

CAL 154
Ottoman Turkey

Mail and Plate Shirt

MTW 1158
Northern Caucasus
for the Persian or Ottoman market

Two ‘Hands of Fatimah’

JLY 1923
India, possibly Hyderabad (Deccan)

Calligraphic Practice Sheet

CAL 266
Qazvin, Iran

Single Folio from a Four-part Qur’an

KFQ 90
Iran, Isfahan

Carpet with Star Medallions

TXT 213
Ushak, western Anatolia, Turkey

Mosque Lamp

GLS 572

Single Folio from a Qur’an

KFQ 45
Middle East or North Africa

Single Folio from a Qur’an

KFQ 50
Middle East

Five Folios from a Qur’an

KFQ 52
Middle East or North Africa

Two Folios from the ‘Blue Qur’an’

KFQ 53
North Africa or Spain

Single Folio from a Qur’an

KFQ 60
probably the Hijaz

Two Bifolios from a Qur’an

KFQ 82
Middle East

Single Folio from a Qur’an

KFQ 93
Middle East or North Africa

Single Folio from a Large Qur’an

KFQ 96
probably North Africa

Single Folio from a Qur'an

KFQ 34
Middle East

Single Folio from a Qur’an

KFQ 84
Middle East or North Africa



Khalili Collections Logo

Share this page