An exquisite 19th century papier mâché Qajar penbox (qalamdan).

This penbox is faithful to the  form of earlier Safavid prototypes, and consists of a cover and a sliding compartment. The top of the cover is subdivided into 3 medallions, the centre being the biggest. The three are brightly painted with fine scenes of a single or pairs of Gul o Bulbul (nightingale) perched on leafy blossomed tree branches. The gilded field around the medallions is truely striking, painted in the finest vegetal and floral closely packed patterns. The sides of the cover are unlike the top, undivided, showing the nightingale amongst a variety of flowers and bushes. The base of the cover is contrasting, it has a gilded offset frame and is centrally decorated using floral gilding on red lacquer. The sliding compartment is decorated in the same manner as the base.

Total length 23 cm.