A Rare and Beautiful Early Qajar Engraved Brass Lidded Bowl (Brazier), Probably Isfahan, Iran, Circa Mid 19th Century.

Identification Number: 388


This finely engraved bowl, of a typical round form with finely pierced and engraved domed shape lid on top. Both are decorated with bands and scenes of various shaped cartouches with stylised flowers, vegetal and arabesque motives surrounding them.

The bowl contains a row of oval cartouches depicting different realistic and mythical scenes, such as various scenes of grotesque and curious depiction of human figures, genies (jinns), spirits, demons, monsters and various animals.

During the 19th Century the Europeans, particularly the Brits such as (Mappin & Webb) and other French metal firms, were so fascinated by this design that they copied it, using the electrotype technique, to produce metallic objects such as writing sets, mirrors, boxes, vases and many others where these objects were given hand finish and sometimes gold plated so that they look very similar to the original counterpart pieces. Other Islamic and / or Persian objects were also copied using this technique. The electrotype technique, also known as galvanoplasty, is a chemical process for forming metal parts that exactly reproduces a model in a relatively short time.

Condition: very good.

Dimensions of both bowl and lid: 30 cm high
Bowl Base and top dimensions: 25.5 cm & 17 cm across.


For a very similar example please see the V&A Museum, London, UK. Lot No. 536-1876.

A similar bowl is exhibited at the Jameel Gallery at the V&A Museum.

For another example please see Persian lost treasures by Vladimir Loukonine & Anatoli Ivanov, lot 279, page 238.

For other examples, please see the two covered vessels exhibited at the Islamic Gallery at the British Museum, Henderson Bequest, OA 78 12-30 741 & 742.