عنوان مقاله [English]
From the late 15th century onward, a new type of painting was introduced in Iran; this style of Persian painting of unknown origin was called “rawghani-sazi” or “oil-coating” and is mostly distinguished by a layer of oil or varnish, coating the paintings on objects with a papier-mâché base. Today, there are many examples of painted and varnished papier-mâché objects in museums and private collections around the world. Astan Quds Razavi Museum in Mashhad houses a remarkable collection of these artifacts as well. In this article, twenty qalam-dans or pen boxes in the Razavi museum collection are studied and introduced. The designs on these papier-mâché pen boxes illustrate different styles of paintings, ranging from spectacular flower-and-bird paintings to the less valuable printed copies. Only two of these pen boxes are signed and dated and the rest are unsigned and undated. All the studied works in this collection have been classified according to the type of the painted decorations on them. In each category, one pen box has been studied descriptively. Upon further examination, it became clear that, despite lacking the signature of the artist or calligrapher and the date of the work, half of these works are of high quality in terms of their painted decorations and illuminations while some of the pen boxes are of lower artistic quality. Some of the artifacts in this collection have been decorated with prints, stamps, and stickers upon which further painting, illumination, and gilding had been added. This last category belongs to the late Qajar period and is a testament to the decline of this beautiful art in Iran.