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    Sale 7615

    Art of The Islamic And Indian Worlds

    7 October 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 155

    A SET OF GOLD ILLUMINATED BORDERS

    BORDER DRAWING ATTRIBUTABLE TO SULTAN MUHAMMAD, SAFAVID IRAN, CIRCA 1525-30

    Price Realised  

    A SET OF GOLD ILLUMINATED BORDERS
    BORDER DRAWING ATTRIBUTABLE TO SULTAN MUHAMMAD, SAFAVID IRAN, CIRCA 1525-30
    The turquoise borders with delicate gold illumination forming real and imaginary animals hunting, leaping and flying against a rocky and foliate landscape, the borders framing a panel of text from the Gulistan of Sa'di, laid down between gold and polychrome rules, composed of 10ll. of nasta'liq in one or two columns with gold intercolumnar and interlinear rules, verso of marbled paper, sticker with name of Philip Hofer, minor areas of staining, with white card mounts
    Folio 11¾ x 7¼in. (29.9 x 18.6cm.)


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    The illumination on two similar borders in the Keir Collection, which Stuart Cary Welch has attributed to Sultan Muhammad Nur, are most probably from the same dispersed manuscript as the present folio (Stuart Cary Welch, Wonders of the Age, exhibition catalogue, Harvard, 1979, nos. 45 and 46, pp.130-31). Not only are the size and the style and format of calligraphy the same, but the illumination of the borders shares the same vivacity and sense of movement. Welch writes that with their spirited brushwork and inventive compositions, they were influenced by the fifteenth century Turkman designs that formed part of Shah Isma'il's booty following the fall of Tabriz in 1502 (Welch, op. cit., p. 131).

    A border from the same manuscript, also in the Keir Collection is published in L'Etrange et le Merveilleux en terres d'Islam (Exhibition catalogue, Paris, 2001, no. 71). Another is in the Kunstbibliothek in Berlin (K2019m, 7 (10.273a); Jens Kröger and Désirée Heiden Islamische Kunst in Berliner Sammlungen, exhibition catalogue, no. 166, p. 208). A further border (although it now surrounds a miniature by Reza 'Abbasi as opposed to a page from Sa'di's Gulistan), is published by Abolala Soudavar (Abolala Soudavar, Art of the Persian Courts, New York, 1992, no. 105, p. 267).

    F.R. Martin writes that the manuscript from which the borders were removed was acquired by the German art historian Phillipp Walter Schulz in Iran in the early 20th century. The sticker with the name of Philip Hofer (on the reverse of this folio), probably refers to the same man whose bookplate is on lot 348. See that note for a short discussion.

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