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Paper Information

Journal:   NEGAREH   summer 2018 , Volume 13 , Number 46 ; Page(s) 74 To 87.

Research on the Main Origin of the Caskets of Shaykh Safi and Shah Ismail Safavi

Author(s):  Ghaffari Abbas*, SALAHI MARYAM
* Multimedia Faculty, Tabriz Islamic Art University, Tabriz, Iran
The caskets of Shaykh Safi al-Din Ardabili and Shah Ismail safavi are considered as the wooden and exquisite works of Islamic art. Current location of these two caskets is the tomb of Shaykh Safi al-Din Ardabili in the city of Ardabil. Shaykh’ s casket belongs to the Timurid period while Shah Ismail safavi’ s casket belongs to the Safavid period. These two caskets have been built with different techniques such as carving, inlay, mosaic and wood drainage, and decorated with types of Iranian noble designs. The construction of these two caskets has been attributed in many Western and sometimes Iranian sources to the reign of Homayon Shah, the Indian emperor, and Indian artists. However, according to studies and researches, there are many reasons for the originality and Iranian origin of these two caskets; among which are the differences between the ornaments, the types of decorations and consuming materials and the different methods of inlaying in tombs in India and Iran, the structural similarity of the two caskets with works of the Islamic period in Iran as well as presenting the name of the Iranian artist and founder in the inscriptions of these two wooden caskets and other historical reasons that have been analyzed in a detailed manner in the research process. This important detail is explained by the above-mentioned reasons in order to disambiguate the origin of the two works of the Islamic period in Iran. The necessity of this article is due to the fact that no research has been done in connection with the Iranian origin of these two caskets and only decorations are checked in articles that are linked with these two caskets. The purpose of the present research is to criticize the hypothesis of presentation of these two caskets as gifts by Homayoun Shah to the Safavid Shah Tahmasb I and to prove the Iranian origin of these two great works of art in the Timurid and Safavid era territory in Iran. The research aims at answering the following main questions: Are two caskets presented by Homayoun Shah to Shah Tahmasb I and made by Indian artists? What reasons would confirm the Iranian origin of the Shaykh Safi’ s and Shah Ismail’ s caskets? Research method in this essay is descriptive and analytical and the approach of this research is Comparative. Also data has been gathered via field study and library research. This article contains important and significant results. The presentation of wooden boxes by Homayoun Shah to Shah Tahmasb was referred to in none of the studied historical sources. In addition, these two caskets belong to two different historical periods; a fact that dismisses the possibility of their concurrence and presentation of both by Homayoun Shah to Shah Tahmasb. Also, decorative patterns and executive techniques in the aforementioned caskets have followed the sources of the Timurid and Safavid periods in Iran. Decorative patterns and executive techniques specify that these two caskets were made by Iranian artists who were familiar with original and Iranian art sources. In other words, Indian artists could not be exactly well-informed of the artistic and original Iranian sources. These two caskets in terms of shape and form are like other caskets built in Iran. In other words, their form is cubic. Another important result is the existence of similarity between tomb decoration and decoration of these two caskets. The carvings of both caskets are similar to the carvings of the Timurid and Safavid periods. Also the most common motifs of the Timurid and Safavid periods were used. Eventually based on historical studies and comparisons and analysis, it can be said that these two caskets were not Homayoun Shah's gifts to Shah Tahmasb safavi, therefore these two wooden caskets have Iranian origin and were made by Iranian artists and in accordance with the Iranian art style.
Keyword(s): Casket,Shaykh Safi,Shah Ismail I,Traditional Arts,Timurid Art,Gurkanian Art,Safavid Art
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