Hafez Inspired Persian Copper Tray

Intricately Hand Engraved, Old Persian Copper Tray
(26″ diameter) Signed “Reza Hafez Esfahani”
Inspired by the collected poetic works of Hafez:

The Divan-e-Hafez


Persian Poet Hafez Inspired Intricately Etched Copper Tray

Divan-e-Hafez Inspired 26" Persian Etched Copper Tray



For the first time in 40 years – the first time ever outside Iran!

The quality of this unique tray’s copper and intricate artistic detail can be appreciated even in the reflective glare of Florida afternoon sun (which washes some of it out) as captured by my cell phone!  (Many more images are available.)  This is highly refined Persian artistry that no longer exists except in collectible remnants, of which this is one of the finer specimens. Although the artist is from Isfahan, this is not the more common (yet still highly skilled and valued) hammered copper, but the finest (and far rarer) hand Persian craftsmanship.

Hafez is the pen name for Khwaja Samsu d-Din Muhammed Hafez-e Shirazi, famed Persian spiritual poet and mystic (@1315/1317 – 1389/1390).

It is said that by listening to his father’s recitations of the Qur’an, Hafez learned it by heart at an early age – which is the meaning of the word “Hafez” and the basis for Hafez’ strong faith and spirituality.

Hafez was the most acclaimed Persian poet of the 14th century, and inspired all future mystical poetic works.  The most copied Islamic poet after his death, Hafez remains the most popular poet in Iran even today.  You will find extensive listings of his poetry readings and inspired music if you do a Google search on his name.  His Divan is still found in the homes of most Iranians, who learn his poems by heart and recite them as proverbs.

Hafez’ poems have been frequently used in visual art and music over the centuries – as here in the intricate carvings of this heavy Persian copper tray. One of the three main themes of his ghazals is the beloved, which influenced many of these depictions. For Hafez, his Islamic faith was another major theme in his poems, and its strong influence is apparent in this exquisite piece of artistry.

Persian Copper Tray - One of 8 perimeter scenes inspired by Hafez

One of 8 Hafez-inspired scenes surrounding the Persian copper tray's center

In fact, in 2004 Professor Foltz of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Florida and his Iranian artist-wife showed me elaborate artwork accompanying a copy of the Divan, artistic depictions which closely resembled some of the scenes meticulously, lyrically etched in fine detail on this large, original, hand engraved copper tray, as he proceeded to explain the tray’s provenance to me (beyond my understanding at the time I personally purchased it in Teheran 40 years ago).

Hand Engraved Depiction of Hafez Divan On Copper

Vintage Persian Artistry No Longer Available

A 14th Century Royal Picnic Pavilion was erected at the center of the copper tray, surrounded on the periphery by eight scenes such as saqi (boy pouring wine), playing tar – kamanche, etc.  Images of each are available upon request, with better photos coming soon.

Heavy Persian Copper Tray Depicts The Divan of Poet Hafez

Rare Fine Etchings in Heavy Copper - Valuable Persian Copper Tray Inspired By The Poetic Works of Persian Poet Hafez - discernable even late afternoon by cell phone

Copper Tray inspired by Persian Poet Hafez Features Royal Pavilion

Royal Pavilion centers the intricate scenes on Hafez Inspired Persian Copper Tray

Interestingly and according to the various entries about Hafez on Wikipedia, it is believed that at one point, Hafez fell out of favor with a ruler for criticizing lesser poets, and he fled from Shiraz to Isfahan and Yazul.  The skilled creator and artistic genius of this delicately inscribed tray, Reja Hafez Esfani, is Reja Hafez from Isfahan/Esfahan.  Is there any wonder that he was drawn to the poetry of Hafez?

Reza Hafez Esfahani Inscribed This Persian Copper Tray

Reza Hafez Esfahani Inscription On Intricate Persian Copper Tray

The actual age of this vintage original tray is unknown, but its condition is excellent.  It was the popular Teheran merchant’s prized piece among his expensive collectibles (and my driver-body guard’s wonder) when I personally bought it 40 years ago in Iran.

INQUIRIES: Please use the Marketing Home Furnishings Contact Form

Enjoy the scene below of this fine collectible, antique, unique, engraved Persian Copper Original that’s now for sale in an exceedingly rare instance . . .
and let’s speak!


Persian Images from Hafez poems engraved on Persian Copper Tray

Depictions of scenes from Hafez poems encircle the intricate Persian Copper Tray

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12 Responses to Hafez Inspired Persian Copper Tray

  1. Margaret says:

    The last image above is one of my favorites. Following the 14th century images around the tray, it is apparent that they tell a story. If anyone viewing this is familiar with Hafez’ works, please let us know if you identify which story is illustrated on the incredible, antique copper tray!

  2. Paul Besser says:

    What is the asking price for that beautiful tray?

    • Margaret says:

      I’ll send you an email with details.

      History of this finely engraved, signed 26″ copper tray:
      When I returned from Teheran in 1971, as I unveiled the tray at customs (JFK airport), I was offered almost $1000 by the man behind me in line, on-the-spot. For perspective: That’s when gold was $35/ounce and copper had not begun to climb … and travel to Teheran was okay for US citizens (Shah’s “pro-Western” rule) … and 40 years ago. So today’s price reflects the extra 40 years, the rarity/scarcity factor for this quality plus its truly unique character, and the climbing price of copper since then.

      You will be hard pressed to find a Persian copper tray such as this, instead of the many (still beautiful) stamped or hammered ones that all the antique shops seem to carry (and to which all the page one Google results point, other than my listings), which are much, much lower priced because they lack the intricate craftsmanship of the hand engraving, the name of the fine artist, and were almost mass produced in the last century. They simply are NOT the same! I’ve searched, and I cannot find anything comparable my Persian tray.

      So I believe from discussions of rarity for signed trays of this character and the intricate story it tells (discussions with Professor and his Iranian artist-wife 7 years ago) and the Hafez name/relationship, I am way under-pricing this. But then, I would only get 1/2 if I went through Sotheby’s, so why not pass the savings on to someone who would cherish the tray as I did?

      • Hello

        I was wondering how much you are asking for the tray.
        Please let me know your price & how much was the Sotheby’s valuation

        Best Regards


    • Linda says:

      Paul, sorry for the delay in an answer. The asking price must be negotiated with Margaret Hampton my colleague. I will contact her with your inquiry. Thanks so much.

      Linda Carey

  3. Peter says:

    I have a large engraved copper tray I bought which resemble trays on this webpage but I don’t see any signature or anything indicating who made it. This tray is heavy and I know it copper. This is a beautiful piece of art and in good condition, if you can provide me with more information, I will appreciate a lot.

  4. Nancy Kinsey says:

    WE have a very large (approx. 45 in) Copper Persian Rice table too. We would be interested in knowing the price of your tray/table too so we can compare prices. Ours is for sale also.

  5. Ann says:

    Hi Margaret,
    Do you read Persian or Farsi? This tray shares some similarities to one we acquired recently, but have found only one item with similar motif and treatment. Our tray is 26″ also and a patina looks like copper, but a deep scratch revealed a yellow color metal. It is heavy enough to be copper because the metal is thick and entirely hand worked. The motif is a revival of the scene of the Aechemian style tribute procession theme of Darius as the last great Persian king, with columns of tribal kings in procession bearing tribute & and an audience. The treatment struck me as almost Byzantine reliquary in style at first glance but I don’t know the finer points of reference delineating Persian from Byzantine art. I just knew to snatch it up when I saw it at the thrift store and to ask questions & figure out what it is later. Unless it is hidden in the repetitious motifs there is no signature or mark. The Ebayer in TelAviv wants $1,000 USD for his smaller tray in similar motifs that he claims is 19th century.

    I am very curious to know more about the item and how you discovered the artist, and when it was made. Could you share references or resources where I could find or learn more about the production periods and details for periods, regions, and artists? Of course I would like to know what your ask price is for it. No one in my area can be relied upon to make a valid ID or appraisal for ours.

    If you would like we can share knowledge in our areas of expertise by email. I have a small presence on Ruby Lane at the moment. Like you we have treasures “seeking a new owner’. My specialty is ceramics with a good foundation in tribal art of the Americas, and in Chinese art history with emphasis on early ceramics and jades.

    • Roger Jacobs says:

      We have, what sounds like to me, a very similar tray. Our tray is an oval 37 x 26 inches. The inscription is different than Margaret’s tray.
      I would like to compare our trays via email pictures if you are interested?
      I would also like to know anything that you may have learned concerning your tray.
      Roger Jacobs

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  7. Katrina Pleasants says:

    What a beautiful piece! I have a table that my parents bought in Teheran in 1958. It is beautifully hand hammered solid copper and I have not measured it yet but think it’s 45″ in diameter. I have no idea of it’s value or if I should clean it? Any help would be most appreciated…thank you so much.

  8. Daniel Kelley says:

    Please inform me of your asking price for this beautiful work of art if it is still available. I have seen others, but do not know their price.
    Thank you