Iran-related publications, teaching, conferences, and lectures

My Iran-related publications, teaching, conferences and lectures include: Tutor for ISEA Programme at Leighton House: Collecting and Display of Islamic Art. Lecturing on the 1910 Munich exhibition; the 1931 Burlington House exhibition; and Poland as a portal for ‘oriental’ trading in the seventeenth century. Oct-Dec 2014. Air pollution in Iran, British Medical Journal 2014; 348: …

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Mirrors of the Unseen: Journeys in Iran by Jason Elliot

This is one of the better books I’ve read on Iran. But It drove me mad with all: – the lists (actual, and cleverly disguised by stringing them together with commas / semi-colons). It’s great to do research, but maybe he didn’t need to put all of it in? – the whining about cab drivers …

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And the most important carpets for Islamic art

The Clark-Corcoran carpet may be the most expensive Persian carpet ever – but when Rupprecht of Bavaria unexpectedly found some (much less expensive) kilims and carpets in the back rooms of his castle, he decided to instigate the first block-buster exhibition of Islamic art objects. The Munich 1910 exhibition “Masterworks of Muhammadan Art” set the …

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Selling the most expensive carpet

Here’s Mary-Jo Otsea selling the Clark- Corcoran carpet in June 2013 at Sothebys in New York for $33.7 million. This carpet is named after Senator William Clark, “the richest man west of the Mississippi” in the 1890s. Apparently no-one attempted to compete with his buying power in his lifetime – though, of course, the American sanctions …

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Some conclusions on Safavid Isfahan: the City of Rule

I have tried in this part of the website to give a flavour of the impressive maydan that Shah Abbas imagined within the Safavid architectural ensemble in Isfahan. Archaeological and textual sources make it clear that this maydan was constructed in two distinct phases: first in 1590 and then, over a decade later, in 1602. …

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Referencing familiar places: the London Royal Exchange

One of the ways that Herbert made his observations intelligible – and appropriately splendid – was by comparing the locales he visited in Persia with places that were already known to his audience. Persian authors did this too: Natanzi, for example, declared the 1590 Isfahani qaysariya “like one that was [once] in Tabriz”[1]. While Persians …

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