TWO LACQUERED PAPIER-MÂCHÉ PEN CASES (QALAMDAN) WITH CHRISTIAN THEMES
PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTOR
Iran, late 19th and early 20th century
Each with rounded ends and sliding trays, lacquered, polychrome-painted and heightened in gold, the top and sides painted with horizontal compositions featuring cusped cartouches of group gatherings alternating with medallions of miniature portraits of Qajar beauties and beaus, some actively copying Western models with foreign outfits and accessories, both qalamdans featuring also Christian iconography, one with a haloed child being baptised and flanked by two winged angels, and the latter with a similar child being begged by his mother, her features reminiscent of Virgin Mary's portraits, further scenes with half-clad ladies showing off their bosoms and attended by female servants; a lady holding a cup and a small cross, possibly an allusion to the practice of Christian baptism; and an Armenian priest painted in a cathedral overseeing his followers knelt on the floor and praying, the sides of the sliding trays and the underside of the cases plain black in one and with stylised scrollwork of roses, lotus flowers, and foliage in gold against black ground in the latter, each 22.5cm long.
Sold for £1,875
Includes Buyer's Premium