• 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 177

    ZAYN AL-DIN AL-JURJANI (D. AH 531/1136 AD): AL-DHAKHIRA AL-KHWARAZMSHAHIYYA

    SIGNED IBN DALLIR AL-MUHALLABI, IRAN, DATED DHU AL-HIJJA AH 599/AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 1203 AD AND MUHARRAM AH 600/SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 1203

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    ZAYN AL-DIN AL-JURJANI (D. AH 531/1136 AD): AL-DHAKHIRA AL-KHWARAZMSHAHIYYA
    SIGNED IBN DALLIR AL-MUHALLABI, IRAN, DATED DHU AL-HIJJA AH 599/AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 1203 AD AND MUHARRAM AH 600/SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 1203
    Comprising the third book and fourth books of The Thesaurus of the Shah of Khwarazm, a medical encyclopaedia, Persian manuscript on paper, 316ff., each with 18ll. of black naskh, titles in elegant bold black muhaqqaq, important words in red, text within later blue and red rules, each book starting with an index with chapters in black muhaqqaq and subtitles in red naskh, the fourth book with lines of text written across the vertical, catchwords, colophons of the third and fourth books signed and dated, minor repairs, generally clean, in later stamped and lacquered black morocco binding
    Folio 10½ x 7 3/8in. (26.6 x 18.5cm.)


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    The Al-Dhakhira al-khwarazmshahiya (The Thesaurus for the Shah of Khwarazm) is the first major mediaeval medical encyclopaedia to have been originally composed in Persian. Isma'il bin Husayn al-Jurjani wrote this massive compendium in his native language in 1110 AD after he moved to the court of Qutb al-Din Mu?ammad bin Anushtigin (r. 1097-1127 AD), Shah of Khwarazm, for whom he was the court physician and to whom he dedicated his work. In the opening of his work, Al-Jurjani states that his "object in compiling it was to supply [] a comprehensive work which would offer the required information [] and save a physician the trouble and loss of time involved in consulting other books" (Charles Rieu, Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts in the British Museum, London, 1883, vol.II, p.466)

    The work is based on Ibn Sina's Al-Qanun fi al-tibb to which al-Jurjani has added numerous new ideas and comments on diagnosis, pathologies and therapeutics. As the first author to write an extensive scientific medical work in Persian, al-Jurjani is largely responsible for establishing a Persian scientific vocabulary (Emily Savage-Smith, Science, Tools & Magic, London, 1997, p. 27).

    The Dhakhira is composed of ten books, the tenth possibly being a later addition, which detail all branches of medicine, from physiology and anatomy to poisons and antidotes. The third book and the partial fourth book comprised in the present copy respectively treat of the preservation of health and the diagnosis of diseases, crisis and prognosis.

    This copy of the Dhakhira, although incomplete, is dated AH 599-600/1202-03 and is the earliest recorded copy of the work. Copied only 92 years after the completion of the thesaurus, the present manuscript is highly important for the study of the work. The two earliest complete copies are dated AH 603/1206 now in Tehran and AH 664-8/1266-70 in the Oriental Public Library in Patna in India. The third earliest complete copy, dated 14 Jumada II AH 671/1273, was formerly in the private collection of Maulvi Muhammad Shafi' in Lahore, Pakistan sold at Sotheby's, 14 October 1999, lot 21 (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/arabic/E11_E13.html#E11).

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    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Collection Hagop Kevorkian, no 897,
    Sotheby's, 26 April 1982, lot 135


    Pre-Lot Text

    A SECTION OF THE EARLIEST KNOWN COPY OF THE FIRST PERSIAN MEDICAL ENCYCLOPAEDIA