Over her lifetime, Ezzat-Malek Soudavar (1913-2014) assembled a stellar collection of Persian art, including several hundred outstanding examples of lacquerware. Published for the first time in A Collector's Passion: Ezzat-Malek Soudavar and Persian Lacquer, most of the intricately designed book covers, mirror cases, and pen cases date from the Qajar era (1785-1925). As a respected collector of Persian art, Mrs. Soudavar appreciated these lacquer works for both their artistic quality and historical value. As a connoisseur of calligraphy and well versed in the art of penmanship, she cherished the pen cases and boxes for their association with her personal skill and enjoyment of the art of writing.
Abolala Soudavar generously offered his mother's collection of Persian laquerware as a gift to the Harvard Art Museums in Cambridge, Massachusetts and to the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, DC. A Collector's Passion: Ezzat-Malek Soudavar and Persian Lacquer begins with an overview of Mrs. Soudavar's remarkable life in Iran and her interest in the arts. Other essays address history and work of major lacquer artists of the Qajar era as well as the materials and techniques of Persian lacquer work. Twenty highlights from the collection and a fully illustrated checklist complete this introduction to one of the major collections of Persian lacquer worldwide.