The art of Qalamzani (also Ghalamzani) or Persian engraving, like other Persian handicrafts, is very old. During the Achaemenid period, bronze and gold works such as the Achaemenid winged goat and other such works show metalworkers and skilled engravers in the Persian land.
But with Alexander’s attack, all traces were destroyed. During the Seleucid rule, due to the significant influence of Greek art, the art of Hellenism was created and the works of art of that time had the color and smell of Western Greek art more than Iranian and Eastern art. With the rise of the Parthians, the influence of Greek art diminished, but it still has the atmosphere of Greek works. A good example of this is coins with the Greek term friend written on them.
The Sassanid dynasty that came to power after the Parthians (226-656 AD) revived the Achaemenid civilization, arts and crafts and performed the common motifs of their time, including animal hunting scenes and kings’ battles on dishes. . Sassanid metal products entered the continent during the dark days of the Dark Ages, especially through Byzantium.
With the Arab invasion and the prohibition of sculpture, painting, iconography, music, etc., engraving, like other arts, declined and nothing special happened in Islamic art until the Seljuk period. During the Seljuk period, the art of engraving was not in the form of the Sassanid period and had more of a scratch on the metal surface. The Seljuk artist did not work prominently. Now the style of Isfahan is more in the form of Seljuk engraving and the style of Shiraz is more similar to the Sassanid engraving. The period of Safavid rule in Isfahan is also the golden age of all Iranian arts after Islam and engraving is no exception to this rule.
But in the Safavid era, most works of art were related to religious places, and this type of Iranian handicrafts declined again during the rule of Zand and Qajar. Qajar engraving often performed flowers and birds of the great Shirazi painter Lotfali Sooratgar on their works.