Exactly 40 years ago your intrepid newsletter-writer (Caroline) arrived at Isfahan University to teach English for the third year of her degree in Modern Persian (as it was then called, rather than Farsi). She arrived in a city where every building, office, shop, or even taxi, featured a photograph of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and his wife Shahbanu Farah and left in June 1978 as tanks and troop carriers crouched on every street corner. The rest, as the saying goes, is history - 20th century history. This newsletter is therefore dedicated to the Islamic, particularly Persian, art which inspired her choice of degree and then started her career in antiques and has remained, next to Japanese art, one of her passions.
| Empress Farah
||Mohammed Reza Shah
Isfahan is the masterpiece of the Safavid dynasty. Above is Maidan Shah (King’s Square) now called Naqsh-e Jahan Square (below). Built by Shah Abbas as the beating heart of his empire around 1600, it combined the three strands of Safavid power; religion represented by the Masjed-i Shah mosque, commerce in the Imperial Bazaar leading off the northern corner and still one of the largest covered bazaars in the world and finally, his own imperial power exemplified by the lofty colonnaded viewing gallery of the Ali Gapu, built to survey armies, watch polo matches and receive embassies.
Three Persian lustre ware ceramic vessels are illustrated above. The tile is from a mausoleum, probably 19th century and the two vases are Kashan, circa 1220. Below that is a silver and copper inlaid bronze inkwell from 12th century Khorasan, a late 13th century Ilkhanid ladjvardina cobalt blue tile with white enamel and gilt deocration and a silver gilt Ottoman Empire repousée bowl probably from the Balkan region in the late 18th century.
The next date for your Diary
will be a pre-Christmas show in Palm Beach manned by Charlie and Ed.
A diverse selection of fine art, one-of-a-kind antiques, sculpture, textiles, furniture, contemporary art and more.
Lake Worth, Florida
The Palm Beach Art, Antique & Design Showroom
December 15 - 17, 2017