Khatam means incrustation in Persian and Khatamkari refers to incrustation work. It consists in the production of incrustation patterns (generally star shaped) with thin sticks of wood (ebony, teak, zizyphus, orange, rose), brass (golden parts) and camel bones (white parts). Ivory, gold or silver can also be used for collection objects.
Many objects can be decorated in this fashion, such as jewelry/decorative boxes, chessboards, pipes, desks, frames or some musical instruments. Khatam can also be used in Persian miniatures, making it a more attractive work of art. This craft was so popular in the court during the Safavid period that princes learned it at the same level of music or painting.
Based on techniques imported from China and improved by Persian know-how, khatam has existed for more than 700 years and is still practiced in Shiraz and Isfahan.
Original oriental polo painting in khatam frame. Photo credit iranreview.org
Photo credit islamoriente.com / iranreview.org
Oriental historian Basil Gray believes Iran “has offered a particularly unique [sic] art to the world which is excellent in its kind”.
Painting in Iran is thought to have reached a climax during the Tamerlane era when outstanding masters such as Kamaleddin Behzad gave birth to a new style of painting.
Qajarid paintings, for instance, are a combination of European influences and Safavid miniature schools of painting such as those introduced by Reza Abbasi. Masters such as Kamal-ol-molk, further pushed forward the European influence in Iran. It was during the Qajar era when “Teahouse painting” emerged.
Image credit iranreview.org
Qajarid era painting, Iran – Nasereddin Shah in the mirror hall. Image credit iranreview.org
Source: Iran Review
Enamel working and decorating metals with colorful and baked coats are one of the distinguished artwork in Isfahan. Mina, is defined as some sort of glass-like colored coat which can be stabilized by heat on different metals particularly copper.
Although this course is of abundant use industrially for producing metal and hygienic dishes, it has been paid high attention by painters, goldsmiths and metal engravers since a long time. It is categorized as enamel painting, charkhaneh (or chess-like enamel) and cavity enamel.
Photo credit iranreview.org
Photo credit Rahimi, iranreview.org
Photo credit Hamed Haghdoust, Fars News Agency, iranreview.org
Enamel painting is practiced in Isfahan and specimens are kept in the museums of Iran and abroad, indicting that Iranian artists have been interested in this art and used it in their metalwork ever since the rule of Achaemenian and Sassanid dynasties. Since enamels are delicate, we do not have many of them left from ancient times. Most of the enameled dishes related to the past belong to the Qajar dynasty during 1810–90.