Peter Finer

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A Persian Iron Priming Flask (Barutdan), Damascened in Gold and dated 1159 AH (1746 A.D.)

Item Ref: 2338 Price on application

2338 4

Persia. Iron and gold.


Private collection, France

This priming flask, or barutdan, used to pour primer into a flintlock gun, has a bulbous, curved body that terminates in a bud-like form. The body of the flask has been decorated in gold koftgari to look zoomorphic: delicate scales cover the body of the flask and its tip is decorated with an eye. A large cartouche at the piece’s centre is divided by a band that contains gold koftgari scroll work.

On either side of the band are Arabic inscriptions; one side features intricate calligraphy in Thuluth, and the other Nasta’liq, which states:

Hu ‘Ali ya ‘Ali

(He ‘Ali, oh ‘Ali)

Although the shape of this flask was common for this period, its decoration is very finely executed and of distinct quality.

Size: Height 10.5 cm / 4.1 in, Length 14.7 cm / 5.8 in