"The Art of Persian Ghalamzani: A Tradition of Metalwork"

Persian Ghalamzani: A Timeless Art of Engraving

Persian Ghalamzani, also known as Persian metal engraving, is an ancient art form that has been practiced in Iran for over a thousand years. It involves the engraving of intricate patterns and designs on various metals such as copper, silver, and brass. Ghalamzani is derived from the Persian words "Ghalam" (pen) and "Zani" (engraving), which literally means "pen engraving."


The art of Ghalamzani dates back to the ancient Persia (now Iran) during the Sassanid era (224-651 CE), and it was initially used for decorating armor, shields, and various household items. The art form later gained popularity during the Safavid era (1501-1736 CE) when Persian artisans began to engrave elaborate designs on metal plates, vases, and other decorative items.

Materials and Tools

To create intricate designs on metal, Persian Ghalamzanis use various tools such as hammers, chisels, and engraving needles. The metal is first heated, then hammered to create a smooth surface before the engraving process begins. Engraving needles of different shapes and sizes are then used to create the intricate designs. Finally, the piece is polished and sometimes coated with gold or silver to enhance its beauty.

Designs and Patterns

The designs and patterns used in Persian Ghalamzani are inspired by the rich cultural heritage of Iran. They include intricate floral patterns, geometric shapes, and calligraphy. The calligraphy used in Ghalamzani is typically written in the Persian script and often includes quotes from the Quran or Persian poetry.


Persian Ghalamzani is used for decorating a variety of items such as trays, plates, vases, and even jewelry. The engraved metal pieces are not only decorative but also functional, and they are often used for serving food and drinks during special occasions such as weddings and other celebrations.

Today, Persian Ghalamzani is still practiced by skilled artisans in Iran, and their pieces are highly sought after by collectors and art enthusiasts around the world. The art form has also been recognized by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of Iran.

In conclusion, Persian Ghalamzani is a unique and timeless art form that has been passed down from generation to generation in Iran. Its intricate designs and patterns are a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the Persian people, and its continued practice ensures that this ancient art form will be preserved for future generations to enjoy.

19th Mar 2023 Anthony N.

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