Iran, with its glorious and rich culture, is one of the founders of cultural and historical civilization among all countries of the world. This manifestation of Iranian civilization can be seen in the art left by the ancestors of Iranians in historical monuments such as tombs, Mosques, palaces and many others were found in this category, but in these historical monuments, art works play a major role. Despite the different cultures throughout Iran, the most magnificent art works are the Persian handicrafts, which depict the ethnical and national culture. In this article, we present some of the traditional handicrafts of Iran which are well-known through the world.
Engraving or what is called in Persian, Ghalamzani, is the art of carving outstanding designs on various metals such as copper, brass, silver and gold. Isfahan is the main home to this Persian handicraft. The artistic artworks which are made by the hands of professional artists, are one of the unique handicrafts in the world.
The historical discoveries belonging to the ancient times as the Sassanid era (700AD), the Seljuk era (100 AD) and the Safavid era (1600 AD) indicate a few of the outstanding metal work periods. Resuming this art is due to the hard-working attempts of the Late Ostad Mohammad Oraizi and the Late Ostad Mohammad Taghi Zufan during the past eighty years, which has been led to creating tens of outstanding and distinguished metal engravings on the one hand and training the new generation on the other.
You can buy these marvelous Persian handicrafts in some stores located in traditional bazars in cities like Isfahan, Tehran and some other ones.
Minakari or Enameling is a brilliant art work of fire and soil, designed with baked and bright colors dating back to 1500 BC and its appearance on metal can be seen during the sixth to fourth centuries BC and after 500 BC. The art of pottery is more prominent in Iran than anywhere else. The enamel decorated glass is the oldest kind of Minakari art which the first one found in Cyprus and the latter in Nahavand of Iran. One of the oldest works of enameling in Iran is the armlet of Oxus treasure (in Persian called the Amu Darya) made during the Achaemenid period. A large silver plate that would come to be known as the ‘Alp Arslan salver’ is one of the Minakari art belongs to Seljuk era that carried out on the surface of silver and is currently being held at the Boston Arts Museum.
Enameling can also be done on gold and silver objects, but basically enameling is done on copper objects. Minakari is an art that has gained its popularity in recent years and its great masters have also appeared in the Pahlavi era, now the greatest enamel master of Isfahan is Mr. Shokrullah Sanizadeh. If you travel to Isfahan, don’t forget to find the shops in bazar to see these artistic Persian handicrafts.
Khatamkari is one of the Persian handicrafts which is a picturesque design on surface of wooden or metallic articles are decorated with the pieces of wood, bone and metal cut in a variety of shapes. These geometric shapes are patterned by placing small triangles next to each other.
This magnificent art has been found its way to Iran before Safavid era following the emergence of a direct relationship between Iran and China. Some other researchers also believe that Khatam Kari was founded in Iran and in the city of Shiraz during the Deilaman period and reached its peak point in the Safavid era. The support of the government and established trade relations with other countries helped the spread of Khatam’s art at that time. Also, a kind of inlay making was common in Iran before the advent of Islam and The method was to cut cubes of solid color into four-millimeter shapes and install and nail them to a plate with various designs, and this method was common until a few centuries after Islam. It can be seen in Shiraz Aghigh Mosque, which has been built for more than a thousand years.
Now Khatam kari continues in Isfahan, Shiraz and Tehran, and in addition to be used in large projects, various inlaid products are produced for decoration or use as Persian handicrafts at homes and offices.
Firuze kubi is a relatively new type of Persian handicrafts, but it is connected with another story. The word “firuze” means a stone of happiness and is translated as “turquoise”. Iran is considered the birthplace of the best turquoise in the world. According to the legends, turquoise is the bone of those who died of love. The stone itself is revered as a symbol of love and passion. The stone in Iran is more expensive than in other countries, but Iranian turquoise is of the best quality.
Firuze kubi for hundred years managed to become the most popular handicraft and country’s business card. The best masters create unique items with firuze kub in Isfahan. At Isfahan bazaar, you can find the most beautiful items like vases, plates, trays and jewelry covered with turquoise. As a material copper, silver, bronze, nickel, and cupronickel are used.
Persian handicrafts are always the best choice to be as a souvenir from Iran for your family and friends. Also, we have another suggestion to buy. You can click here to read more about it.