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    Sale 12241

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    20 October 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 30

    DIWAN OF HASSAN IBN HUSAYN SHAMLU

    POSSIBLY IN THE HAND OF HASSAN SHAMLU, SAFAVID IRAN, 16TH CENTURY

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    DIWAN OF HASSAN IBN HUSAYN SHAMLU
    POSSIBLY IN THE HAND OF HASSAN SHAMLU, SAFAVID IRAN, 16TH CENTURY
    Poetry, Persian manuscript on gold-sprinkled paper, 26ff. each with two columns of 10ll. of elegant black nasta'liq written on the diagonal, double gold intercolumnar rule with leafy vine between and catchword at the bottom, panels of floral illumination on gold ground in the corners of the columns and between verses, the text panels laid down between gold and polychrome rules on blue or cream margins decorated with polychrome scrolling vine issuing palmettes and flowerheads with human faces often surrounded by fantastic birds, the opening folio with gold and polychrome illuminated headpiece surmounting 7ll. of text in clouds reserved against gold ground, two simurghs and a crane above, later owner's notes on first folio, some folios loose in binding, some lacking, in later brown morocco with stamped central medallion, spandrels and borders, the decoration now quite worn, blue paper doublures
    Text panel 4 7/8 x 2¼in. (12.2 x 5.5cm.); folio 8 1/8 x 5in. (20.6 x 12.5cm.)


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    This manuscript is the Diwan of Hassan ibn Husayn Shamlu (d. AH 1052/1542-43 AD), governor of Khorassan during the reigns of Shah 'Abbas I and Shah Sulayman. As well as being a military man, Shamlu was also a poet, a calligrapher and an outstanding patron of the arts.

    It is possible that this Diwan was copied by Shamlu himself. Although lacking its colophon, the manuscript bears a note attributing it to Mir 'Imad al-Hassani. In his calligraphy, Shamlu was said to have followed the style of Mir 'Imad and confusion between the two is therefore possible (Mehdi Bayani, Ahval va asar-e khosh-nevisan, vol.I, Tehran, 1358sh, pp.142-44). Other examples of his calligraphy include a nasta'liq quatrain in the Walters Art Museum (accession number W.687.B) and another which sold in these Rooms, 3 April 2009, lot 44. The very bright and distinctive colours of the margins of our manuscript are very close to those of the illumination that surrounds both the aforementioned calligraphic panels. This supports an attribution to Shamlu, and perhaps indicates that he used the same illuminator for much of his work.

    At least two albums copied for Husayn Shamlu are known. One is an album, folios of which were exhibited in the Exhibition of Persian Art at the Iranian Institute in New York in 1940 (further folios sold in these Rooms, 8 April 2008, lots 182-184). The other is the Read Album, mostly now in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York (Barbara Schmitz, Islamic and Indian Manuscripts and Paintings in the Pierpoint Morgan Library, New York, 1997, no.50, p.111), which was at least in part made also for Husayn's son Hassan.

    This manuscript was formerly in the possession of Prince Sultan Muhammad 'Adud al-Dawla, grandson of Fath 'Ali Shah (d. AH 1339/1920-21 AD). He left a note in the manuscript stating that it was copied by Mir 'Imad and contained 28 misbound folios. A later note gives the number of folios as 26 (the number of folios now present). Another folio from this manuscript was in the Hagop Kevorkian Fund, sold Sotheby's, 23 April 1979, lot 27.



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    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.