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    Sale 7615

    Art of The Islamic And Indian Worlds

    7 October 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 339

    MIR 'ALISHIR NAVA'I (D. AH 906/1500 AD): DIWAN


    Price Realised  


    MIR 'ALISHIR NAVA'I (D. AH 906/1500 AD): DIWAN
    Poetry, Turkish manuscript on gold-sprinkled paper, 87ff. plus 2 fly-leaves, each with 12ll. of elegant black nasta'liq arranged in two columns with double gold intercolumnar rules, gold and polychrome outer rules, with gold cartouches left for headings within panels of gold and polychrome floral illumination and blue borders, opening folio with very fine gold and polychrome illumination in the continuation of the Herati style, with 5 full-page miniatures in the style of Muhammadi, margins slightly trimmed, somewhat worn around the edges, in contemporaneous Safavid lacquer binding
    Folio 9 7/8 x 6¼in. (25 x 15.5cm.); text panel 6 7/8 x 4in. (17.5 x 10cm.)

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    The author of this text, Mir 'Alishir Nava'i, was a Turkish poet and scholar. A school companion of the Timurid ruler Sultan Husayn Mirza Bayqara, who ascended the throne in Herat, he held a number of offices in Court. He was also affiliated with the naqshbandi movement, which is one of the main tasawwuf movements (or tariqas) of Islam, which was formed in 1380.

    The miniatures are identifiable as:

    1. The young prince's hunting party
    2. The prince meeting a dervish in the mountains
    3. The prince and his party at a meal
    4. The prince receiving a hermit in a park
    5. The prince riding through the bazaars of a city

    This manuscript belonged at one point to the Qajar Royal Library and was last inspected in AH 1307/1889-90 AD. It was already in private hands in Quchan (in Khorassan) in AH 1320/1903 AD, when the death of Muhammad Nasir Khan Shuja' al-Dawla was recorded.

    A note in the manuscript mentions that the manuscript was in the collection of Rudolf Melander Holzapfel, who purchased it in Paris circa 1938. It also notes the various locations in which it was exhibited.

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    From the Collection of Rudolf Melander Holzapfel; purchased in Paris circa 1938.


    De Young Museum, San Francisco, 1947-49
    Public Library, Santa Barbara, California, 1950
    California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, 1954