18 November 2014
RAWSHAN AL-DAWLA RUSTAM JANG ZAFAR KHAN: Kulasat al-'aish al-‘alamshahi, Persian manuscript on paper, north India, 19th century.
Folio, 290 x 190mm. 114 leaves as numbered, each with 20 lines of black nasta’liq with titles in red ink, text panel bounded by red and black rules, colophon dating the compilation of the text to the fifth regnal year of Ahmad Shah Bahadur Mughal (r. 1748-54), 50 contemporary erotic illustrations. (Outer margins restored and small areas of wormholing.) Later European binding with marbled paper lining (scuffed, boards loose).
A colourful, instructive and comprehensive work on the art of sexual intercourse, illustrated with 50 miniatures depicting a wide variety of positions. Another copy of the same manuscript is in the Bodleian Library (Catalogue of the Persian, Turkish, Hindûstânî, and Pushtû Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, no. 1628).
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