Description This form of pen box, with a drawer-like compartment that slides out to reveal its contents, was invented around the middle of the 17th century. Its ingenuity lies in the fact that it can be held closed without chains or a lock. The mouth of the sliding compartment was often elaborately carved to fit exactly into the body of the case, so that in Persian it is referred to as the qufl, or lock. The medium of this form was commonly papier mâché (pasteboard) on wooden or iron molds, although sometimes pen boxes were also produced in ivory.
Examined and repaired in preparation for exhibition
- The Art of Writing Instruments from Paris to Persia. 2011.
- Pearls on a String: Artists, Patrons, and Poets at the Great Islamic Courts. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Asian Art Museum, San Francisco. 2015-2016.
Provenance Acquired by Henry Walters, Baltimore; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters
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