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Mirror Case with Portrait of the Eunuch Manuchihr Khan Mu`tamid al-Dawla

Arts of the Islamic World

This lacquer mirror case was made under the patronage of the Georgian eunuch Manuchihr Khan, known as Muctamid al-Dawla, who served as viceroy of the provinces of Kirmanshah, Luristan, and Khuzistan, and later as governor of Isfahan under Muhammad Shah Qajar (r. 1834–1848). In the 1840s, Muctamid al-Dawla was considered one of the most powerful men in Iran. He had at his disposal an elaborate court administration with all its accoutrements, including the services of fine artists. Muhammad Ismacil, considered the greatest lacquer painter of his generation, probably produced this mirror case early in his career, before he was nominated naqqashbashi, or painter laureate.
MEDIUM Ink, opaque watercolor, metallic pigment, and gold on papier mâché under lacquered varnish
  • Place Made: Isfahan, Iran
  • DATES ca. 1847
    DYNASTY Qajar
    PERIOD Qajar Period
    DIMENSIONS 9 x 5 1/2 in. (22.9 x 14 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 71.49.2
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles K. Wilkinson
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Attributed to Muhammad Isma`il Isfahani (active 1847–1871). Mirror Case with Portrait of the Eunuch Manuchihr Khan Mu`tamid al-Dawla, ca. 1847. Ink, opaque watercolor, metallic pigment, and gold on papier mâché under lacquered varnish, 9 x 5 1/2 in. (22.9 x 14 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles K. Wilkinson, 71.49.2. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 71.49.2_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 71.49.2_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION This lacquer mirror case was made under the patronage of the Georgian eunuch Manuchihr Khan, known as Mu`tamid al-Dawla, who served as viceroy of the provinces of Kirmanshah, Luristan, and Khuzistan, and later as governor of Isfahan under Muhammad Shah Qajar (r. 1834–1848). In the 1840s, Mu`tamid al-Dawla was considered one of the most powerful men in Iran. He had at his disposal an elaborate court administration with all its accoutrements, including the services of fine artists. Muhammad Isma`il, considered the greatest lacquer painter of his generation, probably produced this mirror case early in his career, before he was nominated naqqashbash, or painter laureate. Islamic Galleries, June 2009 Ladan Akbarnia
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