Cover of a bookbinding

Historical period(s)
17th century
Bookbinding cover; papier-maché, opaque watercolor, gold, and lacquer
H x W (image): 17 x 10.5 cm (6 11/16 x 4 1/8 in)
Iran, Probably Isfahan
Credit Line
Purchase — Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds, Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program, and Dr. Arthur M. Sackler
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Bookbinding cover (doublure)

falconry, gazelle, hawk, Henri Vever collection, horse, hunting, Iran, prince, WWII-era provenance

From at least 1932
M. H. Sevadjian. [1]

To 1942
Henri Vever (1854-1942), Paris and Noyers, France. [2]

From 1942 to 1986
Family member, Paris and Boulogne, France, by inheritance from Henri Vever, Paris and Noyers, France. [3]

From 1986
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, purchased from a family member, Paris and Boulogne, France. [4]


[1] The object is documented to have appeared in the collection of M. H. Sevadjian by at least April 13, 1932. See Susan Nemazee, "Appendix 7: Chart of Recent Provenance" in An Annotated and Illustrated Checklist of the Vever Collection, Glenn D. Lowry et al (Washington, DC: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1988), p. 399.

[2] See Glenn D. Lowry et al., An Annotated and Illustrated Checklist of the Vever Collection (Washington, DC: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1988), p. 378, no. 477.

[3] See the Agreement for the Purchase and Sale of the Henri Vever Collection of January 9, 1986, Collections Management Office.

[4] See note 3.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

H. Sevadjian
Henri Vever 1854-1942
Francois Mautin 1907 - 2003


Album pages were either bound or kept loose in elaborately produced bindings. This finely painted and lacquered cover depicts a princely equestrian figure with a hawk, a ruler's boon companion. The art of hunting, regarded as the royal past-time par excellence, also served as a literary and visual metaphor for personal strength, skill, and courage. It became one of the most popular themes in Persian painting and was adapted to a variety of different media and surfaces.

Published References
  • H. Sevadjian. Publication title unknown. cat. 79, p. 22, pl. XIII.
  • Glenn D. Lowry, Milo Cleveland Beach, Elisabeth West FitzHugh, Susan Nemanzee, Janet Snyder. An Annotated and Illustrated Checklist of the Vever Collection. Washington and Seattle. cat. 477, p. 378.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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