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    Sale 7571

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    8 April 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 244

    A CALLIGRAPHIC PANEL

    SIGNED MISHKIN QALAM, MAGHUSA, CYPRUS, DATED AH 1294/1877 AD

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A CALLIGRAPHIC PANEL
    SIGNED MISHKIN QALAM, MAGHUSA, CYPRUS, DATED AH 1294/1877 AD
    Persian calligraphy on thick paper, with a phrase of large black nasta'liq done in the shape of two confronted cockrels, each one decorated with gold and polychrome floral scrolls and with a hand with pointing finger in their chest, both with one leg on an unfinished book and standing on a carpet with boteh motifs, a diamond-shaped inscription panel between them, laid down on brown card between black margins, mounted, framed and glazed
    12 5/8 x 20¾in. (31.9 x 52.4cm.)


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    Mirza Husayn Isfahani (d. 25 Dhu'l Hijja AH 1330/6 December 1912 AD) was titled Mushkin Qalam by Nasr al-Din Shah. He was a follower of the Baha'i faith and spent most of his adult life in the Ottoman territories following the Baha'is and their spiritual leater Baha'ullah, for whom he eventually became scribe. He was active in spreading the word of Baha'ullah and spent some time in India. His signature is often: 'The servant of the gate of Baha' Mushkin Qalam'.

    Mushkin Qalam wrote in many styles but is known for his large decorative calligraphic panels, particularly those in the shape of birds. Apart from numerous calligraphic panels, he copied Baha'ullah's writings, which he completed in 1892. (Mishkin Qalam, XIX Century Artist and Calligrapher (1826-1912), Darmstadt, 1992 and Mehdi Bayani, ahval va asar-e khosh-nevisan, Vol. III, Teheran 1348 sh., pp. 677-8).

    This large panel was completed during the calligrapher's exile by the Ottomans in Cyprus and imprisonment in the fortress of Maghusa. It is dated AH 1294 (1877 AD), which is shortly before the liberation of the island by the British and the release of all Baha'i prisoners in that year.

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