Calligraphy Qalam: An Introduction to Arabic, Persian and Ottoman Calligraphy

CalligraphyQalam.com uses interactive tools to interest new audiences in the traditional art forms of Arabic, Ottoman and Persian calligraphy.

Pen boxes were an essential part of a calligrapher's equipment. In addition to containing an ink pot, a pen box would have held several carefully made reed plumes, a pair of scissors, a knife for shaping the plumes, and an assortment of other necessary items.

Along the sides of the box an Arabic inscription in animated script is set against a scrolling background of animal heads.

Calligrapher: Shazi. Iran. 1210-1211 A.D. 5 x 31.4 cm. Other/unnamed script. Courtesy of the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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