• Art of the Islamic and Indian  auction at Christies

    Sale 7751

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    6 October 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 73

    A POETRY ANTHOLOGY COPIED FOR THE LIBRARY OF IBRAHIM SULTAN (1394-1435 AD)

    SIGNED NASIR AL-KATIB, TIMURID IRAN, DATED 12 JUMADA I AH 821/17 JUNE 1418 AD

    Price Realised  

    A POETRY ANTHOLOGY COPIED FOR THE LIBRARY OF IBRAHIM SULTAN (1394-1435 AD)
    SIGNED NASIR AL-KATIB, TIMURID IRAN, DATED 12 JUMADA I AH 821/17 JUNE 1418 AD
    The main text comprising the Diwan of Awhad al-Din Anvari with further texts in the margins, Persian manuscript on paper, 386ff. plus 1 fly-leaf, each folio with 17ll. of black nasta'liq, the text in two columns with double intercolumnar division, further text written on the two diagonals around the main text panel, titles in red or gold, within gold and polychrome rules, catchwords, each page with triangular cartouches with floral illumination, opening shamsa with commission inscription, opening bifolio with dense text on clouds on floral ground, with richly illuminated panels and borders, possibly incomplete at end, in damaged lacquer binding
    Text panel 7¼ x 4 5/8in. (18.4 x 11.8cm.); folio 10 1/8 x 6¼in. (25.5 x 15.7cm.)


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    This manuscript is a collection of Diwans, copied for the library of the Timurid Prince Abu'l-Fath Ibrahim Sultan son of Shahrukh (d. AH 838/1434-5 AD), a patron of art and literature who commissioned the Zafarnama and was himself a skilled composer and calligrapher. The shamsa bears the dedication to Ibrahim Sultan's library as:

    bi-rasm-e khazana al-'aliya al-sultan al-a'zam al-a'dal al-ashja' al-wathiq bi'l-malik al-dayyan mughith al-haqq wa al-dunya wa al-din abu'l-fath ibrahim sultan khallada mulkahu ('For the exalted treasury of the Sultan, the greatest, the most just, the most brave, confident in the Requiter King, the aid to the truth, the world and religion (Mughith al-Din) Abu'l-Fath Ibrahim Sultan, may (God) make his domain eternal').

    In the border, are found the titles of the books included in the manuscript. They include the Diwan of Awhad al-Din Anvari (d. circa as 585/1189-90) as the main text, with divans of Zahir-e Faryabi (d. 598/1201-02); Azraqi (d. before AH 465/1072-3 AD); Abu'l-Faraj al-Runi (d. beginning of the 6th/12th century) Najib al-Din Jurfaqani (12th century); Athir al-Din Umani (7th/13th century) in the margins.

    The end of the Diwan of Azraqi carries an effusive dedication to Ibrahim Sultan, by the scribe Nasir al-Katib. Nasir al-Katib is recorded as a scribe of the early 15th century and one of the early scribes of nasta'liq. Two of his recorded works are in the Gulistan Palace Library, one of which is dated AH 833/1429-30 AD (Mehdi Bayani, Ahval va Asar-e Khosh-Nevisan, Vol. III, Tehran, 1348 sh., p. 936). Another manuscript copied during the reign of Ibrahim Sultan (in Muharram AH 821/February- March 1418 AD) was sold at Christie's (29 April 2003, lot 106).

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