ʿALĀʾ-AL-DĪN ŠAMS-AL-DĪN MOḤAMMAD BĪRJANDĪ, a metalworker who lived between the late 15th and the early 16th century A.D. His nesba suggests that either he or his family hailed from Bīrǰand, in the 8th/14th and 9th/15th centuries an important provincial town in Qūhestān. Two bronze objects with his signature are recorded: a jug, dated 1 Ramażān 908/28 February 1503 (sold at Christie’s, October, 1972) and a jug now in the Museum of Islamic Art, Berlin (no. I 6052), dated Šawwāl, 910/February-March, 1505. Both have a globular body and a short, cylindrical neck and rest on a low ring foot. They are decorated with an overall design of cartouches, scrolls, and inscription bands inlaid with silver wire and follow in form and ornamentation later Timurid metal models. The inscription, engraving, and finishing of the jugs were all done by the same artist. A jug of similar form and decoration (Istanbul, TKS no. 2/2150) is signed by Ḥosayn b. ? al-Bīrǰandī, who may have been a relative of ʿAlāʾ-al-dīn.


L. A. Mayer, Islamic Metalworkers and their Works, Geneva, 1959, pp. 31-32, 47.

E. Kühnel, Islamische Kunst aus den Berliner Museen, Berlin, 1954, p. 14, no. 92.

Christie’s, Classical Western, Asiatic, Byzantine and Islamic Antiquities, October 23, 1972, no. 77.

A. S. Melikian-Shirvani, “Safavid Metalwork: a Study of Continuity,” in Studies on Isfahan II (Iranian Studies, Journal of the Society for Iranian Studies 7, 1974), pp. 545-46.

(E. Baer)

Originally Published: December 15, 1984

Last Updated: July 29, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 7, p. 778

Cite this entry:

E. Baer, “ʿALĀʾ-AL-DĪN BĪRJANDĪ,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/7, p. 778; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/ala-al-din-sams-al-din-mohammad-birjandi-a-metalworker-who-lived-between-the-late-15th-and-the-early-16th-century-a (accessed on 15 May 2014).