عنوان مقاله [English]
Since the Safavid period, Qurkhāneh (arsenal) was a major center among the governmental organizations and societies which continued later into the Qajar era. Affairs concerning the supply of war equipment and ammunitions were dealt with in this center, but in the Qajar period as ordered by Naser al-Din Shah the function of Qurkhāneh was different from the past. Under his order, its building was constructed on the north side of the royal citadel, between Toupkhaneh square, Marizkhaneh (Sepah) street and Jalil Abad (Khayam). The building, under Shah’s personal patronage, consisted of a variety of workshops and factories titled Qurkhāneh Mobārakeh (Glorified Arsenal) and ruled by one ministry. Today, only a portal and a part of the southern wall of the original site have survived, while the rest has transformed into a subway station. Regarding the significance of Qurkhāneh, it is worth mentioning that it was not only an exclusive organization doing military affairs, but also a place with evident influence on the arts of Qajar period. The present research aims to study the functions of Qurkhāneh and to answer whether or not it was such a place restricted to making war equipment or was it supposed to participate in art production as well. Adopting an analytical-historical approach, this study would examine the issue of art production in Qurkhāneh for the first time. An investigation on historical documents and available samples confirms that Qurkhāneh, under the impacts of West industry, was considered the most significant and equipped workshop of arts and crafts in that time. In addition to manufacturing war equipment including cannons, weapons, etc., it has also had diverse and precious artistic products such as statutes, cast metal doors, wooden artifacts and crystals.