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    Sale 7715

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    31 March 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 179

    A GOLD ILLUMINATED BORDER

    BORDER DRAWING ATTRIBUTABLE TO SULTAN MUHAMMAD, SAFAVID IRAN, CIRCA 1525-30

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    A GOLD ILLUMINATED BORDER
    BORDER DRAWING ATTRIBUTABLE TO SULTAN MUHAMMAD, SAFAVID IRAN, CIRCA 1525-30
    The grey-blue borders with delicate gold illumination forming real and imaginary animals hunting, leaping and flying against a foliate landscape, the borders framing a panel of text from the Gulistan of Sa'di, laid down between gold and polychrome rules, composed of 10ll. of nasta'liq, verso of marbled paper, scuffing and repairs
    Folio 11 7/8 x 7¼in. (30 x 18.4cm.)


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    The illumination on two similar borders in the Keir Collection, which Stuart Cary Welch has attributed to Sultan Muhammad, are most probably from the same dispersed manuscript as the present folio (Stuart Cary Welch, Wonders of the Age, exhibition catalogue, Harvard, 1979, nos. 45 and 46, pp.130-31). Not only are the size and the style and format of calligraphy the same, but the illumination of the borders shares the same vivacity and sense of movement. Welch writes that with their spirited brushwork and inventive compositions, they were influenced by the 15th century Turkman designs that formed part of Shah Isma'il's booty following the fall of Tabriz in 1502 (Welch, op. cit., p. 131).

    A border from the same manuscript, also in the Keir Collection is published in L'Étrange et le Merveilleux en terres d'Islam (Exhibition catalogue, Paris, 2001, no. 71). Another is in the Kunstbibliothek in Berlin (K2019m, 7 (10.273a); Jens Kröger and Désirée Heiden Islamische Kunst in Berliner Sammlungen, exhibition catalogue, no. 166, p. 208). A further border (although it now surrounds a miniature by Reza 'Abbasi as opposed to a page from Sa'di's Gulistan), is published by Abolala Soudavar (Art of the Persian Courts, New York, 1992, no. 105, p. 267).

    F.R. Martin writes that the manuscript from which the borders were removed was acquired by the German art historian Philipp Walter Schulz in Iran in the early 20th century. A gold border from the manuscript was sold in these Rooms, 7 October 2008, lot 155.

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