AUD $800.00
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Persian, Qajar Lacquer Vase

Sorry, this pair of vases have "left the building" gone to a new home. 

One of a pair of Persian 18th Century, early Qajar Dynasty turned wooden “vases”. (see also QV101 for the other of the pair, sold seperately.)

Of turned wood, supplemented with some carved detailing, covered allover with fine painted floral designs surrounding two figurative subjects:
a) a female figure seated on a dais, under an umbrella, with two attendants.
b) two seated Angels controlling (one fanning?) a Demon, also seated on a dais.(the red circle around his head is actually a snake!)

This Qajar “lacquer” is achieved by the fine application of opaque watercolours (Gouaches), over a layer of fine Gold Leaf, this in turn laid onto a Red Bole over Gesso, finally protected with a glossy layer of transparent or slightly golden varnish. (Note, most varnishes discolour or darken with time, also fine crazing forms, as the varnish dries, shrinking with age.)

I suspect that this discolouring has produced the “golden lacquer” that is characteristic of Qajar Lacquerworks. Looking closely at the fine crazing reveals the actual watercolour and Gesso base. And that the fine gold highlighting, is really Leaf that has been left unpainted, still reflecting light through the varnish.

What we admire as mellowed age, may actually have been much brighter originally, (like the “Sistine Chapel” where restoration has revealed quite brilliant pigments.)
As the colour itself is not water proof, it seems most unlikely that these pieces would have been used as we would, holding water/flowers etc.
It’s more likely, then, that they were used purely as decorative pieces, probably in wall niches. (see our article on “The Gayer Anderson Museum, Cairo.” )

In good condition, considering it’s age and the overall fine crazing of the varnish, a couple of very minor knocks on the rim have revealed the goldleaf layers underneath the applied paint and varnish.
But, an old repair and a second more recent one, have reglued two neat breaks in the round base, visible, but not obvious, lost in the complicated background of patterning.

There’s a certain mystery and romance to this pair, added to by their age, and genuine patina.
That’s why we’ve included an image of the pair together.

Age: Late 18th/Early 19th Century

Size: H 176 mm x W 85 mm

Weight: 196 grams