Bookcovers from a volume of the Gulshan Album (Rose Garden album)

Historical period(s)
Mughal dynasty, ca. 1595-1632
Painted with colors and gold and lacquered, also leather and possibly mother-of-pearl.
H x W x D (without straps): 42.7 x 26.2 x 1 cm (16 13/16 x 10 5/16 x 3/8 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Book covers

dragon, elephant, flower, holy man, hunting, India, lettering, Mughal dynasty (1526 - 1858), ostrich, simurgh, WWII-era provenance

To 1739
Mughal Imperial Library, Delhi, India. [1]

From 1739 to late 1800s
Persian Imperial Library, Tehran, Iran. [2]

From ? to 1999
Parnian Kummer, Geneva, Switzerland. [3]

From 1999
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Parnian Kummer, Geneva, Switzerland. [4]

[1] These album covers with folios were taken from India to Iran when Delhi was looted by Nadir Shah in 1739. They remained in Iranian hands until the late nineteenth century, when they began to be dispersed. See Curatorial Remark 2 in the object record.

[2] See note 1.

[3] Believed to have been the property of Ms. Kummer’s father. From 2000 to 2003 questions were raised regarding provenance and ownership of these pieces. Research is ongoing.

[4] See Acquisition Consideration Form, copy in object file, Collections Management Office.

Previous Owner(s)

Mme. Parnian Kummer
Persian Imperial Library
Mughal Imperial Library

Published References
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court., 2nd. Washington and Ahmedabad, India, 2012. cat. 20A, cat. 20B, pp. 104-6.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Worlds within Worlds: Imperial Paintings from India and Iran
Google Cultural Institute
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