Description & Technical information

Of conventional oblong form with rounded ends, this pen box (qalamdan) is formed from sheet brass. The lid has been engraved with three roundels, filled with floral interlace sprays, which have been inlaid with silver and gold details at the leaves. Three lines of floriated kufic run across the top of the box. The sides are decorated by a continuous band of elegant engraved roundels, each inlaid with silver inscription. The underside of the box is ornamented with a simple ropework border and six charming etched fish, a common motif in metalwork of the Islamic world. Similar examples are found in the David Collection, Copenhagen (accession no. 6/1997), the Victoria & Albert Museum, London (accession no. M.712-1910), and the British Museum (accession no. 1891,0623.5).

n.b. Accession nos are clickable links