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    Sale 12283

    Arts & Textiles of the Islamic & Indian Worlds

    21 October 2016, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 48



    Price Realised  


    Vol. I of this seminal Druze work attributed to Hamza bin 'Ali al-Hakimi al-Druzi, Arabic manuscript on paper, 113 ff., five fly-leaves, 15ll. of black cursive to the page, important words in red, titles in large yellow or red script, including one polychrome illuminated cartouche, later ownership note dated AH 1223 and naming the village of Ba’zaran, annotated with the French name 'Ch. Gaillardot', in black morocco
    Folio 6 3/8 x 4 ¼in. (16.1 x 10.7cm.)

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    There are two copies of this work in the British Library which are listed under “Anonymous”, although in the title and the preface of this manuscript the work is attributed to al-Imam Hamza bin ‘Ali al-Hakimi al-Durzi. Since it is a very secretive religion it is almost impossible to know or reveal who the author is and this is probably the reason why the British Library and the Chester Beatty Library have opted for “Anonymous”. Two copies of this work, the first dated 1896 (Or. 11142) and the second datable to the 17th century (Or. 6852) are in the British Library, see C. Baker (editor), Subject – Guide to the Arabic Manuscripts in the British Library, London, 2001, O. p. 399. Two copies are in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, see A. Arberry, A Handlist of the Arabic Manuscripts, Dublin, 1956 & 1958, vols. II & III, nos. 3373 & 3675, pp. 52 – 55 and 74 -75 respectively. See C. Brockelmann, GAL, S. I. 716 – 18.

    This Mithaq contains a number of pledges of allegiance to the Druze faith and to the sixth Fatimid Caliph al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah. Other works attributed to Hamza bin 'Ali sold at Christie's South Kensington, 23 April 2012, lot 11, 10 October 2014, lot 267 and 9 October 2015, lot 350.

    An ownership inscription states that this manuscript was acquired by Bashir bin Qasim bin ‘Ali Janbulad from the village of Ba’zaran in Lebanon on 9 Safar 1223 / 1808 -1809.

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