Divan (Collected poems) by Sultan Ahmad Jalayir (d.1410)

View right to left

Historical period(s)
Jalayirid dynasty, circa 1400
Ink, color and gold on paper
H x W: 30 x 20.3 cm (11 13/16 x 8 in)
Iran or Iraq, Tabriz or Baghdad
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


illumination, Iran, Iraq, Jalayirid dynasty (1340 - 1432)

From at least 1912-at least 1926
Fredrik Robert Martin (1868-1933), purchased from unidentified dealer in Constantinople [1]

About 1926-1931
Ownership information unknown

From at least 1931-1932
Jacob Hirsch, Ph.D., New York, method of acquisition unknown [2]

From 1932
The Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Dr. Jacob Hirsch, New York [3]


[1] See “Miniatures from the Period of Timur in Manuscripts of the Poems of Sultan Ahmad Jalair” [book] (Vienna: printed for the author, 1926), p. 6ff, pls. IX-XI for manuscript and pls. I-VIII for folios. See also p. 27, where Martin recounts buying the manuscript in Constantinople in November 1912. It is unclear when, or to whom, he sold it. Martin was a Swedish diplomat, scholar, collector, art historian and author. Martin documented his journeys in numerous books.

[2] See Laurence Binyon, J.V.S. Wilkinson and Basil Grey, “Persian Miniature Painting: Including a Critical Descriptive catalogue of the Miniatures Exhibited at Burlington House, January-March, 1931” [book] (London: Oxford University Press, 1933), pl. LXXIV p. 63 no. 36. The manuscript is “Lent by Jacob Hirsch, Geneva”, and “The last eight pages have the borders filled with line drawings and touched with gold and light colour. (These were shown separately at the Exhibition, mounted and framed.).” Dr. Jacob Hirsch (1874-1955), was a collector of coins, medals, and classical art, as well as a dealer of archaeological objects. He had an eponymous gallery in New York, as well as businesses in Switzerland and Paris.  See purchase file F1932.29 for J.E. Lodge letter to Dr. J. Hirsch dated April 9, 1932, wherein Lodge writes that he would come to New York to see the manuscript, implying it is already in the U.S. See also January 4, 1932 letter from M. Aga-Oglu, of the Detroit Institute of Arts, to Dr. Hirsch, noting that he had studied the manuscript and was enclosing it, with the miniatures, for return to Hirsch.

[3] The Freer Gallery of Art paid Dr. Jacob Hirsch in installments, the first on August 1, 1932, and the last on July 3, 1933, and marked approved on June 28, 1932. See object file for copy of invoices.

Research completed December 16, 2022

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Fredrik Robert Martin 1868-1933
Dr. Jacob Hirsch 1874?-1955

Published References
  • Richard Ettinghausen, Ernst Kuhnel. A Survey of Persian Art from Prehistoric Times to the Present. 6 vols., London and New York, 1938 - 1939. vol. 3: p. 1988.
  • Fredrik Robert Martin, Sir Thomas W. Arnold. Miniatures from the Period of Timur: In an MS. of the Poems of Sultan Ahmad Jalair. Vienna. p. 6ff, 16 pls..
  • Dr. Esin Atil. The Brush of the Masters: Drawings from Iran and India. Exh. cat. Washington, 1978. cat. 1-7, p. 14.
  • Laurence Binyon, J.V.S. Wilkinson, Basil Gray. Persian Miniature Painting: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Miniatures Exhibited at Burlington House, January-March 1931. Exh. cat. Oxford, January - March 1931. p. 63, no. 36, pl. LXXIV A.
  • Basil Gray. Fourteenth Century Illustrations of the Kalilah and Dimnah. vol. 7, no. 2 Ann Arbor. p. 140.
  • The Arts of Persia. New Haven and London. p. 236, fig. 8.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.

Related Objects