Inside of a book cover

Historical period(s)
Safavid period, early 16th century
Paint and leather over paper
H x W (mounted): 33 x 21.5 cm (13 x 8 7/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds, Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program, and Dr. Arthur M. Sackler
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


Henri Vever collection, Iran, Safavid period (1501 - 1722)

Likely Georges Tabbagh (b. ca.1870), method of acquisition unknown [1]

Henri Vever (1854-1942), purchased from Georges Tabbagh in Paris, France [2]

Jeanne Louise Monthiers (1861-1947), bequest of Henri Vever [3]

Francois Mautin (1907-2003), bequest of Jeanne Louise Monthiers and Henri Vever [4]

From 1986
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery purchased from Francois Mautin [5]


[1] This is likely one of the works that Henri Vever purchased from Georges Tabbagh on February 9, 1914. See Henri Vever Account Ledger, February 9, 1914, FSA A1988.042.2, from Henri Vever Papers. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Vever notes that he purchased from Georges Tabbagh at "8 Rue Rossini" in Paris, France. Vever describes the work as "1 plat intérieur de reliure, arabesques découpées en or, sur bleu, vert, etc. (XVIe S.)." Brothers Georges and Emile Tabbagh (ca. 1880-1934) operated the gallery Tabbagh Freres from 1905 to 1936 in Paris. By 1911, the brothers opened another store along 5th Avenue in New York City. They specialized in the sale of Rakka and other Persian works of art, especially manuscripts.

[2] See note 1. An accomplished French jeweler and collector, Henri Vever (1854-1942) amassed a large and impressive collection of works of art during his lifetime. His holdings in Japanese prints and Islamic arts of the books, especially from Iran and India, were among the most important assembled in the early twentieth century.

[3] Upon Henri Vever's death on September 25, 1942, his wife, Jeanne Louise Monthiers inherited the work. See exhibits F and G of Agreement of Purchase and Sale of the Henri Vever Collection, January 9, 1986, copy in object file.

[4] Upon the death of Jeanne Louise Monthiers, as stipulated in the will of Henri Vever, the family's assets were divided evenly between his two grandchildren. His only grandson, Francois Mautin inherited the collection known as "The Henri Vever Collection of Oriental Art and Manuscripts Including Persian and Indian Art and Manuscripts." This work is part of that collection. See exhibits F and G as cited in note 3.

[5] The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery purchased the collection from Francois Mautin on January 9, 1986. See purchase agreement, copy in object file.

Research completed February 28, 2022

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Henri Vever 1854-1942
Jeanne Louise Monthiers 1861-1947
Georges Tabbagh b. ca. 1870
Francois Mautin 1907-2003

Published References
  • Hunt for Paradise: Court Arts of Safavid Iran, 1501-1576. Exh. cat. Milan. p. 159, fig. 6.4.
  • Glenn D. Lowry, Susan Nemanzee. A Jeweler's Eye: Islamic Arts of the Book from the Vever Collection. Washington and Seattle. cat. 73, pp. 210-211.
  • Glenn D. Lowry, Milo Cleveland Beach, Elisabeth West FitzHugh, Susan Nemanzee, Janet Snyder. An Annotated and Illustrated Checklist of the Vever Collection. Washington and Seattle. cat. 471, p. 373.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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