The Safavid seventeenth-century tradition for luxury objects in painted lacquer was continued under the Persian Qajars. This technique, employing an undercoat of gesso and a lacquer varnish, produced richly decorated pieces of great charm. This mirror case (the reverse is illustrated) depicts a nightingale on a rosebush amid hyacinths, primroses, and other blossoms. A Persian sensibility is here integrated with an interest in European botanical studies.
Artist Islamic, Iranian
  • Mirror Case
Date ca. 1875
Medium papier-mache board, colors, gilding, and lacquer
Dimensions Overall: 7 7/8 × 5 1/4 × 3/8 inches (20 × 13.3 × 1 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase with funds from Mrs. Charles C. Andrews
Accession Number 1991.5
Department Islamic Art
Not On View
(Said Motamed, Frankfurt, Germany);
1991-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Henshaw, Julia P., ed. A Visitors Guide: The Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 1995, p. 129 (ill.).