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Dish with Insignia of Nasir al-Din Shah Qajar (r. 1848-1896)

Arts of the Islamic World

Gift exchange, tribute, the spread of religion, and overland as well as maritime trade were major transmitters of motifs, designs, and techniques between China and the Roman Empire, Iran, and India. Primary goods, such as medicinal herbs, spices, animals (especially horses), animal products, ores, and metals traveled east to China, while silk products, ceramics, metal wares, paper, printed texts, and mint coins traveled west.

Certain objects intended for export reflect an understanding of the foreign market and its clients' individual tastes, such as this Chinese porcelain dish whose Qajar dynasty insignia and Persian inscription naming one of the Qajar rulers suggest it was made for the Iranian royal court.

MEDIUM Ceramic, overglaze painted in colors and gold
DATES late 19th century
DYNASTY Qing Dynasty
PERIOD Qing Dynasty
DIMENSIONS 9 3/4 x 9 3/4 x 9 3/4 in. (24.8 x 24.8 x 24.8 cm)
INSCRIPTIONS ??????? ?? ??????? ? ??????? ?? ??????? ???? ????? ??? ????? The Inscription read by Abdullah Ghouchani The cartouche contains a Persian inscription in black in nasta'liq script, which reads: Nasir al-Din Shah Qajar al-Sultan al-Khaqan ibn al-Sultan al-Khaqan (Nasir al-Din the sultan, the khaqan, son of the sultan the ruler). This dish was clearly part of a service commissioned either for Nasir al-Din Shah's court or for one of the other royal Persian households.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Gift of Dr. Bertram H. Schaffner in honor of Fifi Dawson Pate
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