Shah Mahmud al-Nishapuri, also known as Zarin Qalam ('Golden Pen'), lived and worked in Tabriz for most of his life. He was a royal calligrapher to Shah Tahmasp (d.1574) and was without doubt one of the greatest calligraphers of his time, renowned for his 'perfect nasta'liq'. When the Shah lost interest in the Arts, Shah Mahmud moved to Mashhad and worked there under the patronage of Ibrahim Mirza (d.1577) until he died (Norah M. Titley, Persian Miniature Painting and its Influence on the Art of Turkey and India, London 1983, pp.84,103,105, fig.81; and A.J. Arberry (ed.), The Chester Beatty Library. A Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts and Miniatures, Vol. II, no. 179). For further information please also see Mehdi Bayani, Ahval va Asar-e Khosh-Nevisan, Vol.I, Tehran 1345 sh, pp.295-304, Vol.II, 1346, pp. 305-7 and Minorsky, V., Calligraphers and Painters, 1959, pp. 134-7. His recorded work is dated between AH 923-982/1517-75 AD.
According to later owners notes, the present manuscript was later in the possession of a certain Khalil ibn 'Abd al-Rahman. Other examples of the work of this famous scribe are being sold in the present sale as lots 316, 317 and 318.