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At A Glance

  • Period

    1523-24 (930 A.H.) and ca. 1600
  • Geography

    probably Tabriz and Qazvin or Isfahan, Iran
  • Material

    Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
  • Dimension

    H x W: 26.1 x 16.3 cm (10 1/4 x 6 7/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Calligrapher

    Shah Mahmud Nishapuri
    Salim al-Katib
    Imad al-Hasani
  • Description

    Manuscript; Anthology, assembled text in three sections, a collection of lyrical poems by Qasim Anvar, Amir Khusraw Dehlavi, Asafi, Ahli, Hilali, Shahidi, and Humayun; Persian in black and white nasta'liq script; 28 folios with 3 sarlawh (fols. 1 verso, 9 verso, 23 verso) and 2 colophons (fols. 8 verso, 28 recto), colophons contain the names of scribes: Shah Mahmud of Nishapur (folio 8 verso), Salim al-Katib (folio 28 recto) and a marbled folio with the name of Mir Imad al-Hasani (fol. 22 verso); inscriptions (fols. 9 recto, 22 verso, 28 verso); standard page; texts are surrounded by illuminations, triangular embellishments and rectangular panels in gold-sprinkled or marbled ground.
    Binding: The manuscript is bound in leather over paper pasteboards with gold tooling, medallion, and corner-pieces on exterior covers. The doublures are of leather with gold filigree ornamentation on a blue ground.
  • Inscriptions

    Folio 8 verso: "written by the hand of the humble sinner Shah Mahmud of Nishapur. May God pardon his sins and faults, in the year nine hundred and thirty [A.D. 1523]."
    Folio 9 recto: "no muraqa' exists as valuable as this, among the masters of calligraphy, art and style of our time; (I) the poor and lowly collected it and documented it with great effort. God bless (the one) who tries to preserve it, until treacherous time."
    Folio 22 verso: "thirteen pages from outstanding calligraphy of Mir Imad. May God have mercy upon him."
    Folio 28 recto: "written by the poor and sinful slave Salim al-Katib.
  • Provenance

    ?-to at least 1937
    K. Minassian (1874-1944), method of acquisition unknown [1]
    From 1937
    The Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from K. Minassian, New York [2]
    [1] See April 13, 1937 Freer Gallery of Art letter acknowledging loan of objects from Kirkor Minassian for examination, including F1937.35a-b, in object file. See also June 1, 1937 and June 2, 1937 letters between J.E. Lodge and Kirkor Minassian, respectively, regarding this object and others left for examination, in object file. Kirkor Minassian was a collector and dealer in Islamic and Near Eastern antiquities, with galleries in New York and Paris.
    [2] See K. Minassian invoice to Freer Gallery of Art, June 4, 1937, and marked approved on June 1, 1937.
    Research updated January 27, 2023
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Arts of the Islamic World (May 3, 1998 to January 3, 2016)
    From Concept to Context: Approaches to Asian and Islamic Calligraphy (July 28, 1986 to February 6, 1987)
    Nastaliq Calligraphy (September 23, 1982 to January 20, 1984)
    Art of the Court of Shah Tahmasp (December 16, 1979 to August 14, 1980)
    Near Eastern Art—Paintings, Pottery (August 18, 1967 to February 10, 1972)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Kirkor Minassian (1874-1944)
  • Origin

    probably Tabriz and Qazvin or Isfahan, Iran
  • Credit Line

    Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • Type

  • Restrictions and Rights

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