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    Sale 7615

    Art of The Islamic And Indian Worlds

    7 October 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 342

    'ARIFI (D. AH 853/1449 AD): GUY O CHAUGAN (BALL AND MALLET)

    COPIED BY SULTAN MAHMUD AL-KATIB, SAFAVID IRAN, DATED AH 950/1543-44 AD

    Price Realised  

    'ARIFI (D. AH 853/1449 AD): GUY O CHAUGAN (BALL AND MALLET)
    COPIED BY SULTAN MAHMUD AL-KATIB, SAFAVID IRAN, DATED AH 950/1543-44 AD
    Poetry, Persian manuscript on gold-sprinkled paper, 22ff. plus 2 fly-leaves, each folio with 12ll. of elegant black nasta'liq arranged in two columns with double gold intercolumnar rules, margins ruled in blue, green and gold, headings in blue, the opening folio with illuminated headpiece in gold and polychrome, colophon signed Sultan Mahmud al-Katib, and dated 950, some creasing and very minor waterstaining, in deep purple morocco with flap and gilt borders, with red half morocco slipcase with bookplate of John M. Schiff
    Folio 9 x 5½in. (23 x 14cm.); text panel 5½ x 2 7/8in. (14 x 7.2cm.)


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    The Guy o Chaugan is an allegory in which the ball and mallet are personifications of types of mystic love. The imagery is borrowed from the most popular game of the period, chaugan (polo).

    Sultan Mahmud al-Katib is mentioned as being one of the pupils of 'Ali Reza, and was alive in AH 995 (1586-87 AD). His only other recorded work is a copy of selections from the Bustan of Sa'di, dated AH 957 (1550-51 AD), recorded by Bayani who says he must have been a very skilled calligrapher (Mehdi Bayani, Ahval va Asar-e Khosh-Nevisan, Vol. III, Tehran, 1348 sh, p. 884).

    The present manuscript was in Turkey in the 16th century and belonged to Ghazanfar Agha Quyu Aghasi (most probably the Officer in Charge of Wells), in AH 1011 (1602-03 AD) and a seal-holder with the name Salim in AH 1[0]67 (1656-57 AD).

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