Great news: if you have Persian friends, you can now ask them for a gift!
Here is a brief overview of “Khatam Kari”, one of Persian’s most emblematic artistic heritage.
History of Khatam Kari
Khatam Kari is the so-called meticulous Persian Art of woodcarving on decorative objects or monuments.
Historically, Khatam Kari was such a noble Art that Princes would learn this technique alongside the art of music, calligraphy or painting. It was one of the most popular Arts under the Safavid Empire (14th to 18th Century) and was renewed under the Shah and persists until today.
Patience and dexterity!
Khatam Kari consist in assembling thin sticks of different natural materials in a geometric, most often star-shaped patterns. The materials are chosen according to their colors:
- brass (alloy of copper and zinc for Golden parts)
- camel bones (for the white parts)
- wood (ebony, teak, Ziziphus, orange blossom, rose for all the other colors)
In each cubic centimeter of space, approximately 250 pieces of metal, bone, ivory and wood are laid side by side which makes Khatam Kari a highly elaborate Art wchich requires dexterity and of course, patience!
Khatam Kari decorative objects are diverse: photo and mirror frames, jewellery boxes, games (chess, backgammon). Depending on the extent of work that is required, the Khatam Kari objects can be more or less expensive.
These objects are usually bought as souvenirs, from Iranians for their non Persian friends or from tourists from all around the world.
khatam kari is one of the best-known representations of Persian Art just like Persian rugs or miniatures.
If you go to Iran, don’t forget to add some Khatam Kari gifts to your shopping list 🙂