• Art of the Islamic and Indian  auction at Christies

    Sale 7843

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    13 April 2010, London, King Street

  • Lot 186

    THREE CALLIGRAPHIC QUATRAINS

    SIGNED MIR 'ALI, SAFAVID IRAN, FIRST HALF 16TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    THREE CALLIGRAPHIC QUATRAINS
    SIGNED MIR 'ALI, SAFAVID IRAN, FIRST HALF 16TH CENTURY
    Persian manuscript on paper, one folio double-sided with one side of gold-illuminated blue and one side of gold-illuminated buff paper, each side with 4ll. of black nasta'liq signed faqir or al-faqir 'Ali below in clouds, each side with a triangular panel of gold and polychrome illumination above, the buff side with gold- illuminated green minor borders and paper margin, the blue side surrounded by gold and polychrome rules, some flaking and creasing, the other folio on gold and silver speckled ground with triangular panels of gold and polychrome illumination above and below, the signature below in a cloud reserved against illuminated ground, laid down between gold and polychrome rules on buff margins with gold floral illumination and laid down on brown card
    Largest calligraphy 9 x 5¼in. (22.8 x 13.1cm.)


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    Mir 'Ali, the famous nasta'liq scribe (d. circa AH 951/1544-55 AD), studied in Herat. He spent most of his life working as a scribe of firmans and then at the Royal Library of the Timurid Sultan Husayn Bayqara, from whom he received the title 'Sultani'. After the capture of Herat by the Safavid ruler Shah Isma'il, Mir 'Ali worked under the patronage of Khwaja Karim al-Din Habibullah Savaji, the Minister to the Governor of Khorassan and for the brother of Shah Tahmasp, Sam Mirza.

    After the subsequent Uzbek invasion of the city, Mir 'Ali was taken to Bukhara by 'Ubaydullah Khan and made to work as a scribe at his court and as the teacher of his son 'Abd al-'Aziz Khan. His recorded work includes numerous manuscripts and calligraphic pages, including 61 in the famous Gulshan Album in the Gulistan Palace Library in Tehran, and is dated between AH 914/1508-09 AD and AH 951/1544-45 AD (Mehdi Bayani, Ahval va asar-e khosh-nevisan, vol. II, Tehran, 1346 sh., pp. 493-516).

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