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Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Pen Box

Object Name:
Pen box
Date:
late 13th–early 14th century
Geography:
Attributed to Iran, possibly Tabriz
Medium:
Brass; inlaid with silver and gold
Dimensions:
H.2 5/8 in. (6.7 cm) W. 2 1/4 in. (5.7 cm) L. 11 1/8 in. (28.3 cm)
Classification:
Metal
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.190.822
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455
Inscription: The Arabic inscriptions are partly the usual titles of Mamluk Sultans, partly good wishes.

Translation by Yassir al-Tabba (1978):
-Outside, bottom: "Glory, continuance, forebearance, reward, elevation, ascendance, victory over enemies, the crown of kings and sultans, the defender of the oppressed from the oppressor, the aided ... ... the reviver of justice in the world, may his victories be glorious, his worth be multiplied, his dignity be increased. And may his good fortune remain apparent and his stars flourish as along as morning should come and prayer should be called."
-Inside: "Glory to our lord, the master, the wise, the just, the aided, the victorious, the aided to victory. Glory to our lord, the master, the just, the aided, the victorious, the aided to victory, the fighter for the faith, the warrior, the defender of the outposts, the conqueror, the supporter of Islam and the Muslims, may his victories be glorious and his (worth) be multiplied."
-Lid, center: "Glory to our lord, the master, the wise, the just, the aided, ..., the aided to victory, the fighter for the faith, the warrior, the defender of the outposts, the conqueror, the supporter of Islam and Muslims, the crown of kings and sultans, the reviver of justice in the world, the defender of the oppressed from the oppressors, the aided ... the god of the two worlds, may his victories be glorious and his dignity be multiplied and his worth be elevated."
-Body, top: "Glory to our lord, the master, the wise, the just, the aided ... the sufi, the fighter for the faith, the warrior, the defender of the outposts, the conqueror, the supporter of Islam and Muslims. Glory ... and prospertiy to its owner and longevity ... victory, prosperity and lasting glory ... and masterly life and good luck to its owner."
J. Pierpont Morgan, New York (until d. 1913; his estate 1913–17; gifted to MMA)
Washington. Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. "Timur and the Princely Vision. Persian Art and Culture in the Fifteenth Century," April 14, 1989–July 6, 1989, no. 48.

Los Angeles. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Timur and the Princely Vision. Persian Art and Culture in the Fifteenth Century," August 13, 1989–November 5, 1989, no. 48.

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 150, ill. fig. 89 (b/w).

Lowry, Glenn D. "Iskandar Mirza and Early Timurid Metalwork." Orientations, Orientations, (1986). pp. 12, 14,15, 17, 20, ill. fig. 3 (p. 15).

Komaroff, Linda. "Pen-Case and Candlestick: Two Sources for the Development of Persian Inlaid Metalwork." Metropolitan Museum Journal 23 (1988). pp. 92, 93, 94, ill. fig. 6.

Lentz, Thomas W., and Glenn D. Lowry. "Persian Art and Culture in the Fifteenth Century." In Timur and the Princely Vision. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1989. no. 48, pp. 139, 141, 339, ill. p. 141 (color).



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