Pen box decorated with hunting scenes

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 2

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At A Glance

  • Period

  • Geography

  • Material

    Papier-maché, painted and lacquered
  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 4 x 4.1 x 24 cm (1 9/16 x 1 5/8 x 9 7/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Artist

    Najaf Ali
  • Description

    Oblong with rounded ends, slightly convex top and sliding compartment. Decorated on top and sides with hunting scenes and on underside with flora and fauna.
    TOP: Five superimposed registers with hunting scenes in an overall landscape setting representing (from top to bottom): 1. Two riders chasing a pair of gazelles. 2. A kneeling hunter aiming a rifle at a pair of gazelles. 3. A mounted falconer. 4. A rider spearing a pair of wild boar and attended by an assistant also holding a spear. 5. A rider killing a lion with a sword and attended by an assistant with a spear.
    Right Side: A gazelle hunt in a landscape setting with buildings in the background. The hunters include 2 pairs of mounted horsemen (one rider holds a falcon and one a rifle), a dog chasing a herd of gazelle, and a gunbearer on foot.
    Left Side: At left, a bear hunt with a bear being roped by a mounted hunter and jabbed with a spear by an attendant on foot. At right, a trio of horsemen including one galloping along with a head turned and arm raised (as if to track a falcon?), another standing still to watch his companion, and a third riding off towards the right. Both left and right parts of this scene take place in a landscape flanked by groups of buildings.
    Sliding End: Three men in a landscape setting with architectural background. One figure in the center is resting on the ground, on at left is walking with a stick over his shoulder, one at right is mounted on horseback and chasing two gazelles.
    Bottom: Scene composed on the horizontal and featuring vine scroll growing from a central trunk and laden with bunches of grapes. The leaves and branches shelter various birds and animals, including: a rabbit or hare nibbling at a bunch of grapes, 3 peafowl (1 pair and 1 single), a quail(?), a small gazelle or deer. Enframed in a thin band of pink blossoms and green leaves.
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Dr. Nabil
    Mrs. George C. Keiser
  • Provenance

    To about 1953
    Dr. Nabil, to about 1953 [1]
    From about 1953 to 1983
    Mr. and Mrs. George C. Keiser, Washington, DC, purchased from Dr. Nabil in about 1953 [2]
    From 1983
    Freer Gallery of Art, given by Mrs. George C. Keiser in 1983 [3]
    [1] According to the donor, her husband purchased this object in approximately 1953 from a Persian, Dr. Nabil (see Curatorial Note 3 in object record).
    [2] See note 1.
    [3] Transferred from the Freer Study Collection to the Freer Permanent Collection (see Curatorial Note 3, Elizabeth F. Duley, December 17, 1992, in the object record).
  • Origin

  • Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. George C. Keiser
  • Type

  • Restrictions and Rights

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