A comb back

Historical period(s)
Safavid period, 17th century
Iron, gold and silver inlay
H x W: 6.2 x 7.7 cm (2 7/16 x 3 1/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Tool and Equipment

Comb back

engraving, inlay, Iran, metal-cutting, Safavid period (1501 - 1722), WWII-era provenance

To ?
E. Beghian. [1]

From 1940
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from E. Beghian through H.S. Andonian, New York. [2]


[1] Curatorial Remark 1 in the object record. Also see undated folder sheet note in the object file.

[2] Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List after 1920 file, Collections Management Office.

Previous Owner(s)

E. Beghian 1910? - 1950?


This arch-shaped hollow piece, used as the back of a comb, was made in two parts and soldered together at the sides. A plaque with teeth would have been inserted into the sheath at the bottom and secured with a pin. The arabic inscription in naskhi along the outer edges of the piece can be translated as, "The congregation, the obedience, the religion, the hour of judgment."

Published References
  • Dr. Esin Atil, W. Thomas Chase, Paul Jett. Islamic Metalwork in the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington, 1985. cat. 32, pp. 203-204.
  • Richard Ettinghausen Ernst Kuhnel. A Survey of Persian Art from Prehistoric Times to the Present. 6 vols., London and New York, 1938 - 1939. p. 2514f.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum