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A ROYAL PRAYER BOOK
A ROYAL PRAYER BOOK
A ROYAL PRAYER BOOK
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A ROYAL PRAYER BOOK
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No VAT on hammer price or buyer's premium. VARIOUS PROPERTIES AN EXTENSIVELY ILLUSTRATED PRAYER BOOK MADE FOR THE OTTOMAN QUEEN ŞAYESTE HANIM AND PRINCESS NAILE SULTAN
A ROYAL PRAYER BOOK

SIGNED MUHAMMAD WASFI (MEHMET VESFI), OTTOMAN TURKEY, CIRCA 1290-1873 A.D.

Details
A ROYAL PRAYER BOOK
SIGNED MUHAMMAD WASFI (MEHMET VESFI), OTTOMAN TURKEY, CIRCA 1290-1873 A.D.
Arabic and Ottoman Turkish manuscript on dark cream paper, 129ff., plus two flyleaves, 9ll. of strong black naskh within gold, red and black rules, gold and polychrome verse markers, catchwords, sura headings in white thuluth on gold illuminated panels, 14 folios with full page illuminated hilyehs, diagrams and illustrations including Mecca and Medina, final folio with a polychrome full page illustration of a peony, colophon signed and dedicated, in Ottoman stamped and gilt green morocco with flap, marbled paper doublures
Text panel 6 5/8 x 3 ½in. (16.9 x 8.9cm.); folio 9 3/8 x 6 1/8in. (24.4 x 15.5cm.)
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No VAT on hammer price or buyer's premium.

Brought to you by

Louise Broadhurst
Louise Broadhurst International Head of Department, Oriental Rugs and Carpets

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Lot Essay

This richly illuminated prayer book was created for the seventeenth wife of Sultan Abdulmecid I (r.1839-61), Sayeste Hanim (d.1219) and her only daughter Naile Sultan (d.1882). Besides the elegant calligraphy, the design, layout and precision of the manuscript have evidently been very well thought out. The colour palette used, with various shades of pinks and purples is most unusual and feminine in range, perhaps taking into consideration the queen and princess’s favoured colours and designs. Another feature that shows the design was tailored to the queen and princess's is that their names are written in gold on five occassions within the prayer book.

The calligrapher of our manuscript, Muhammad Wasfi a’n Zulfiyan was part of the master-student chain linking to Shaykh Hamdullah. Wasfi was an immediate student of the celebrated Ottoman calligrapher Rashid Ayyubi Efendi (d.after 1879), known as Ayyubi (see Safwat, 2014, pp.610-11). Ayyubi was in turn a prominent student of Kebejizade Mohammad Wasfi Efendi (see Derman, 2010, pp. 342-43).

His nisbah, Zulfiyan refers to his position in the Ottoman court as the royal guard at the Topkapi palace. His close proximity to the royal court explains his links to the royal household and the dedication of this lavishly illuminated and illustrated prayer book to Naile Sultan and Sayeste Hanim.
A beautiful specimen of Wasfi’s work is in the Cengiz Çetindogan collection (see Safwat, 2014, pp. 610-11). A manuscript copied by one of Wasfi’s students was sold in these Rooms, October 2016, lot 184.
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