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    Sale 12241

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    20 October 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 41

    JAMAL AL-DIN ABU MUHAMMAD NIZAMI (AH 535-598/1140-1202 AD): KHAMSA

    SIGNED BIN 'ALI MUHAMMAD HUSAYN, SAFAVID ISFAHAN, IRAN, DATED THE MIDDLE OF RAJAB AH 1071/ MARCH-APRIL 1661 AD

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    JAMAL AL-DIN ABU MUHAMMAD NIZAMI (AH 535-598/1140-1202 AD): KHAMSA
    SIGNED BIN 'ALI MUHAMMAD HUSAYN, SAFAVID ISFAHAN, IRAN, DATED THE MIDDLE OF RAJAB AH 1071/ MARCH-APRIL 1661 AD
    Poetry, Persian manuscript on paper, 297ff., one fly-leaf, each folio with 25ll. of black nasta'liq arranged in four columns, double gold intercolumnar rules, text panel outlined in gold, blue and black, catchwords, headings in similar red nasta'liq, with 24 contemporaneous paintings in opaque pigments heightened with gold, opening folio with a gold and polychrome illuminated headpiece surmounting 12ll. of text, one similarly illuminated headpiece within the text, three unfinished spaces left for further illumination, one chapter with colophon dated the middle Jumada I AH 1071, final colophon dated middle of Rajab AH 1071 and with scribe's signature, first folio with later owners' notes, minor areas of water and spot staining and occasional marginal repairs, in black shagreen with gold and polychrome stamped decoration, red morocco doublures with gilt and stamped central medallions
    Text panel 10½ x 5½in. (26.3 x 13.9cm.); folio 15 1/8 x 9 5/8in. (38.3 x 24.3cm.)


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    The delicate pastel colours which form the backgrounds of the paintings in this manuscript, and which contrast with the bolder pigments used for the figures, echoes the palette used by the celebrated Safavid artist Mu’in Musavir. Mu’in was a follower of Reza ‘Abbasi who was active from circa 1635 to 1697. The illustrations in this manuscript were probably painted by a student or follower of Mu’in. Another copy of the Khamsa of Nizami in the Matenadaran Collection in Yerevan, dated 23rd February 1677, has illustrations with a closely related colour palette and similar freely interpreted outlines and lyrical figures (inv.548; Armen Tokatlian, Persian Treasures in Erevan: A Selection of Manuscripts from the Matenadaran Collection, Belgium, 2013, p.83). A related illustrated manuscript with fewer illustrations attributed to the school of Mu’in Musavir was sold in these Rooms, 10 April 2014, lot 13.

    The paintings in this manuscript include:

    From the Makhzan al-Asrar:
    1. The unjust king and the truthful wise man

    From Khusraw wa Shirin:
    2. Shirin inspects Khusraw's portrait
    3. Khusraw and Shirin meet out hunting
    4. Khusraw and his companions discuss the fate of Farhad
    5. Khusraw before Shirin's palace
    6. Shirin falls at Khusraw's feet
    7. Khusraw and Shirin's nuptials

    From Layla wa Majnun:
    8. Majnun and his father at the Ka'aba
    9. Layla and Companions in the Palm tree grove
    10. Majnun in the desert with the wild animals
    11. The old man revives Majnun

    From the Haft Paykar:
    12. Bahram Gur fights a dragon
    13. Bahram Gur wrestles the crown from between two lions
    14. Bahram Gur hunting with Fitna
    15. Bahram Gur entertained by the Indian princess in the Black Pavilion
    16. Bahram Gur entertained by the Arab Princess in the Yellow Pavilion
    17. Bahram Gur entertained by the Princess of Khwarazm in the Blue Pavilion
    18. Mahan encounters Khizr
    19. Bahram Gur entertained by the Chinese princess in the Sandalwood Pavilion
    20. Bahram Gur entertained by the Greek princess in the White pavilion

    From the Sharafnama:
    21. Iskandar and the dying Dara
    22. Iskandar and the Chinese slave-girl

    From the Iqbalnama:
    23. Iskandar hears a voice from God
    24. Iskandar in the enchanted garden

    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.