PRAYER BOOK
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PRAYER BOOK

SIGNED AHMAD AL-NAYRIZI, SAFAVID IRAN, DATED SHA'BAN AH 1111/JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1700

Details
PRAYER BOOK
SIGNED AHMAD AL-NAYRIZI, SAFAVID IRAN, DATED SHA'BAN AH 1111/JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1700
Prayers against misfortune, Arabic manuscript on paper, 17ff., plus two modern fly-leaves, each folio with 7ll. of strong black naskh script, each line in cloud band on gold ground, each title in white thuluth script within gold and polychrome illuminated cartouche, text within gold and polychrome rules, opening folio with gold and polychrome illuminated headpiece and illuminated margins, colophon with dedication, signed and dated, in modern stamped binding with marbled paper doublures
Text panel 7 3/8 x 5in. (18.6 x 12.8cm.)
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Lot Essay

The colophon indicates that this prayer book was copied for the vizier Muhammad Ibrahim Bek Yuz Bashi and that it was copied by Ahmad al-Nayrizi in Sha'ban AH 1111/1700 AD. Muhammad Ibrahim Bek Yuz Bashi is mentioned as having carried out repair works at the Imamzadeh Isma'il in Isfahan in 1703-04 AD (http://archnet.org/sites/3905).

Ahmad al-Nayrizi (fl.1682-1722 ) was born in the town of Nayriz in Fars. His primary master in naskh script was Muhammad Ibrahim bin Muhammad Nasir Qumi, known as Aqa Ibrahim Qumi (fl.1659-1707). In the late 17th century Nayrizi settled in Isfahan and came to the attention of Shah Sultan Husayn (r.1694-1722) who became an important patron and by whom Nayrizi was given the honorific surname Sultani. He produced work for royal patrons for almost two decades. Combining strength with elegance, Nayrizi's hand is 'a confident one, characterized by exceptionally well-formed letters. Its most striking features are its relatively large size and the wide spacing of the lines of text' (Nabil Safwat, The Art of the Pen, The Nasser D. Collection of Islamic Art, London, 1996, p. 212). It is with Ahmad al-Nayrizi that we find the development of a distinctly Iranian naskh script that went on to be used as the standard Qur'anic hand throughout the 19th century. A prayer book copied by Nayrizi is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum in New York, (inv. 2003.239, illustrated in: Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2011, no.191, pp.272-274).

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