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    Sale 12241

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    20 October 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 44

    MUHAMMAD 'ASSAR TABRIZI (D. AH 779/1377 AD): MIHR O MUSHTARI

    SIGNED HASSAN SHARIF AL-KATIB, SAFAVID SHIRAZ, DATED THE END OF RABI' II AH 959/APRIL 1552 AD

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    MUHAMMAD 'ASSAR TABRIZI (D. AH 779/1377 AD): MIHR O MUSHTARI
    SIGNED HASSAN SHARIF AL-KATIB, SAFAVID SHIRAZ, DATED THE END OF RABI' II AH 959/APRIL 1552 AD
    A love story in verse based on the concept of platonic love, Persian manuscript on gold-sprinkled paper, 217ff. as numbered, each with 12ll. of black nasta'liq arranged in two columns with double gold and green intercolumnar rules, occasional lines written on the diagonal between triangular panels of gold and polychrome illumination, text panels within gold and polychrome rules, catchwords, headings in blue nasta'liq on gold and polychrome illuminated panels, the text with six contemporaneous paintings in opaque pigments heightened with gold, occasional smudging of the faces, opening folio with possibly later illuminated headpiece, colophon signed and dated and written in a triangular panel between two panels of elegant flowering vine, occasional marginal repairs, some later owner's stamps throughout, in contemporaneous stamped and lacquered binding, plain brown morocco doublures
    Text panel 6 5/8 x 3 1/8in. (16.8 x 8cm.); folio 11 x 6 7/8in. (27.9 x 17.4cm.)


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    The miniatures are as follows:
    1. Mihr and Mushtari visit a hermit in a cave
    2. Mihr and Mushtari about to be executed before King Shapur
    3. Mihr killing the lion
    4. Mihr asleep with his head on the lap of Princess Nahid
    5. Two Princes receive instruction
    6. A king riding in procession across a hillside

    The story of the platonic love between Mihr (the Sun), the son of legendary ruler Shahpur, and the court vizier's son Mushtari (Jupiter) is a well-known poem with strong pre-Islamic themes. The illustrations in this manuscript though produced at Shiraz show Tabrizi influences, particularly clear in the scene depicting the near execution of Mihr and Mushtari in the presence of Shahpur. In this scene Shahpur sits together with Mihr and Mushtari on a raised throne typical of Tabrizi illustrations, before a wall decorated with confronted blue hares on white ground, also a Tabriz feature. Lale Uluç traces these influences back to the migration of artists from Tabriz to Shiraz in the 1530s. By the mid-16th century many of these Tabriz style features had become incorporated into Shirazi manuscripts. For a discussion on Tabriz influences in Shiraz painting from the 1530s onwards see Lale Uluç, Turkman governors Shriaz artisans and Ottoman collectors: Sixteenth Century Shiraz Manuscripts, Istanbul, 2006, no.89-90, pp.138-142.

    Provenance

    Formerly the property of the Hagop Kevorkian Fund, sold Sotheby's, 3 April 1978, lot 149
    Anon sale, Sotheby's, 22 October 1993, lot 157


    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.