• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12241

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    20 October 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 52

    A RARE COMPENDIUM OF TREATISES EDITED BY NASIR AL-DIN MUHAMMAD IBN MUHAMMAD IBN AL-HASAN AL-TUSI (D. AH 672/1274-75 AD)

    TIMURID IRAN, 15TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A RARE COMPENDIUM OF TREATISES EDITED BY NASIR AL-DIN MUHAMMAD IBN MUHAMMAD IBN AL-HASAN AL-TUSI (D. AH 672/1274-75 AD)
    TIMURID IRAN, 15TH CENTURY
    Comprising a number of scientific texts by Greek authors, translated and edited by later Arab scholars and compiled by Nasir al-Din Tusi, Arabic manuscript on paper, 262ff. plus one fly-leaf, each folio with 17ll. of black cursive script verging on nasta'liq, catchwords, with numerous diagrams in black and red, occasional marginal notes, in contemporaneous brown morocco with stamped central medallion and spandrels

    Folio 10½ x 6½in. (26.6 x 16.5cm.)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    The texts included in this volume are listed on the title-page as below. Some of the books have been abridged or amalgamated, whilst other books by Tusi, such as Kitab taksir al-da’ira li Arshimidis, The Book “On Measuring Circle” of Archimedes, might have been added.

    1. Kitab al-mu’tayat li Uqlidis, The Book on ‘Data’ of Euclid.                          
    2. Kitab al-kura wa al-ustuwana li Uqlidis, The Book on the Sphere and Cylinder of Euclid
    3. Kitab al-manazir li Uqlidis, The Book of Optics of Euclid                
    4. Kitab al-masakin li Thawdhusyus, The Book of Settlements of Theodosius
    5. Kitab al-tulu’ wa’l ghurub li Utuluqus, The Book of Risings and Settings of Autolycus
    6. Kitab al-zahirat [al-falak] li Uqlidis, The Book of Celestial Phenomena of Euclid
    7. Kitab al-layl wa’l nahar li Thawdhusyus, The Book of Night and Day of Theodosius
    8. Kitab fi jirmay al-nayyirayn [wa’l-bu’d baynahuma] li Aristarkhus, The Book on the Sizes of the Sun and the Moon and the distance between them of Aristarchus
    9. Kitab al-matali’ li Ibsiqlaus, The Book of Ascensions of Hypsicles
    10. Kitab al-ma’khudhat li Arshimidis, The Book of Lemmas of Archimedes
    11. Kitab al-mafrudat li Thabit ibn Qurra, The Book of Assumptions of Thabit ibn Qurra
    12. Kitab al-ashkal al-kurriyyah li Ma-nalawus, The Book of Spherics of Menelaus
    13. Kitab al-shakl al-qatta, The Book on Secants

    The majority of these books are included in Tusi’s famed compendium Majmu’at al-Mutawwasita described by Tusi as "intermediate", lying between Euclid's Elements and Ptolemy's Almagest ('Nasir al-Din Tusi', Encyclopedia of Islam, pp.929-932). It contains a group of treatises on mathematics and astronomy of which, in most cases, he had written commentaries or new editions himself. Nasir al-Din Abu Ja'far Muhammad bin Muhammad al-Tusi was born in Tus in 1201 AD. He was the most eminent scholar of the medieval world in trigonometry and wrote on a wide range of topics within the areas of mathematics and astronomy as well as on logic and theology. He is well-known as the founder of the observatory at Maragha in 1259 AD for the Ilkhanid ruler Hülegü. He died in 1274 AD.

    Another copy of the Majmu'at al-Mutawassitat, copied in Shiraz from a copy that was in the possession of Tusi, was sold at Christie’s, London, 31 March 2009, lot 11 and another was offered on 26 April 2012, lot 106. A further fragmentary copy sold at Christie’s South Kensington, 18 April 2016, lot 165. A 17th century copy is in the John Rylands Library (A. Mingana, D.D., Catalogue of the Arabic Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, Manchester, 1934, no.348, p.538). For more information, see B.A. Rosenfeld & E. Ihsanoglu, Mathematicians, Astronomers, and Other Scholars of Islamic Civilisation and their Works (7th - 19th C.), Istanbul, 2003, pp.211-19, no.606 or C. Brockelmann, Geschichte der Arabischen Litteratur, Leiden, 1996, I. 670 – 676; S. I. 924 – 933.

    Saleroom Notice

    Please note that the Gulf Cooperation Council has imposed a ban on the importation of Iranian goods to or via its member states.  Some of the member states are enforcing the ban strictly such as Saudi Arabia.  Please check with your shippers on whether you will be able to ship Iranian artworks to the GCC member states.