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    Sale 7615

    Art of The Islamic And Indian Worlds

    7 October 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 356

    AN ALBUM OF QAJAR ROYAL CALLIGRAPHY

    COPIED BY FATH 'ALI SHAH QAJAR, MUHAMMAD SHAH QAJAR AND ABU'L FAZL SAVAJI, IRAN, ONE PANEL DATED 7 SHAWWAL AH 1265/26 AUGUST 1849 AD

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    AN ALBUM OF QAJAR ROYAL CALLIGRAPHY
    COPIED BY FATH 'ALI SHAH QAJAR, MUHAMMAD SHAH QAJAR AND ABU'L FAZL SAVAJI, IRAN, ONE PANEL DATED 7 SHAWWAL AH 1265/26 AUGUST 1849 AD
    Hadith and poetry, Persian manuscript, with 6ff., the first folio with 27ll. of diagonal and horizontal black siyah mashq written in clouds reserved against gold tinted ground with triangular panel of gold and polychrome illumination with inscription cartouche above stating that it is the hand of Muhammad Shah Qajar, the next folio with 12ll. of black nasta'liq in clouds reserved against gold ground, both of these folios laid down between wide red and gold borders on deep purple card with white and gold outlined cartouches above, the final four folios each with 2ll. of bold black nasta'liq in clouds reserved against a gold ground with gold and polychrome scrolling floral arabesques, two of the folios with signature of Fath 'Ali Shah Qajar, laid down between black and red margins on light purple card
    Folio 12 3/8 x 7¾in. (31.5 x 19.7cm.)


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    The album is composed of the following:

    1. A folio with an inscription in the cartouche stating that this is the hand of Muhammad Shah Qajar. The colophon mentions that the folio was copied for Khadija Sultan Khanum, the mother of Na'ib al-Saltana (i.e. Prince Nasir al-Din) on 7 Shawwal AD 1264/6 September 1848 AD.

    2. A hadith of Imam 'Ali copied for the Na'ib al-Saltana by Abu'l Fazl, son of Fazlullah Savaji in Rabi' al-Thani AH 1264/March-April 1848 AD. Abu'l Fazl Savaji (AH 1248-1312/1832-95 AD) is a well-known scholar and calligrapher of the Qajar period who wrote the inscriptions of many buildings. His recorded works are dated between AH 1261/1845-46 AD and AH 1286/1869-70 AD (Mehdi Bayani, Ahval va Asar-e Khosh-Nevisan, Vol. I, Teheran 1345 sh, pp. 29-32).
    3-6. Persian verses in large nasta'liq, each signed by Fath 'Ali Shah. A double album page in the Aga Khan Collection also features a calligraphic exercise signed by Fath 'Ali Shah, very similar to the present in style (Spirit and Life, exhibition catalogue, Italy and London, 2007, no. 74, p. 106-07). Another was exhibited in Geneva in 1985 (Toby Falk (ed.), Treasures of Islam, Geneva, 1985, no. 176, p.189). These all demonstrate that as well as being a great patron of the arts, Fath 'Ali Shah was also an practiced calligrapher.

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