Gold and silver damascened steel figurine of a
duck, decorated by stylized feathers and cusped
medallions outlined in gilt.
The Qajar dynasty was an Iranian royal dynasty of
Turkmen tribal origin, specifically from the Qajar
tribe, which ruled then Persia, nowadays Islamic
Republic of Iran, from 1785 to 1925. The state
ruled by the Qajar dynasty was officially known as
the Sublime State of Iran.
Although the Qajar family took full control of Iran
in 1794 and re-asserted Iranian sovereignty over
large parts of the Caucasus, they permanently
lost many of Iran's integral areas to the Russia
over the course of the 19th century, comprising
modern-day Georgia, Dagestan, Azerbaijan, and
The occupation of Iran during World War I (1914-
18) by Russian, British, and Ottoman troops was
a blow from which the Qajar dynasty never
effectively recovered. With a coup d'état in
February 1921, Reza Khan who afterwards ruled
as Reza Shah Pahlavi (1925-41) became the
preeminent political personality in Iran and the
last Qajar sovereign was formally deposed in
October 1925 while he was absent in Europe,
while the National Iranian Assembly declared the
rule of the Qajar dynasty to be terminated.
Damascened is the art of inlaying different metals
into one another—typically, gold or silver are
inlaid into a darkly oxidized steel background—to
produce intricate patterns, much similar to the
technique of niello. The English term derives from
a perceived resemblance to the rich tapestry
patterns of damask silk.