Lot 12
  • 12

An illuminated dua al-usbuiyyah, copied by Abu Muhammad Abu Al-Makarim Al-Murshidi, Persia, Timurid or Aqqoyunlu, 15th Century

60,000 - 80,000 GBP
110,500 GBP
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  • watercolour on paper
  • 19.2 by 13cm.
Arabic manuscript on paper, 12 leaves plus 2 flyleaves, 8 lines to the page, written in fine naskh script in gold, within cloud bands, the interstices filled with blue-tinted flowers against a finely-hatched ground, headings in white thuluth against a gold ground with polychrome scrolling vines, finely illuminated opening Safavid headpiece comprising gold chinoiserie cloud bands and interlacing polychrome vines against a blue ground within pin-pricked gold strapwork borders, pages of varying colours with leafy gold decoration in the outer margins, illuminated colophon, main text followed by a Safavid commentary of the work in fine nasta'liq script in black ink, with opening headpiece in colours and gold, brown leather binding with central gold-outlined stamped cartouche filled with foliate motifs and chinoiserie cloud bands, with flap

Catalogue Note

Transcribed by Abu-Muhammad Abu-Makarim al-Murshidi, the present manuscript is a superb copy Dua' al-Usbuiyyah (prayers for each day of the week). Combining thuluth and naskh scripts in gold outlined with black ink was a technique particularly favoured by Ilkhanid, Jalayirid, Timurid and Aqqoyunlu patrons. The decorative repertoire seen here, particularly the minute hatching between the cloud bands and blue foliage, is close to other examples produced in fifteenth-century Shiraz.

Very similar decoration can be observed in the Qur'an from the library of Sultan Bayezid II (r.1481-1512), copied and illustrated in Aqqoyunlu Shiraz in the mid-fifteenth century, now preserved in the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum, Istanbul (TIEM inv.no.509). A second closely-related manuscript is a Mathnawi of Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi, dated 888 AH/183 AD, in the Bibliotèque Nationale, Paris (Suppl.Persan 1495).

Abu Muhammad Abu al-Makarim al-Murshidi

Better known as Abu al-Makarim Ibn Ali Murshidi, Abu Makarim was a court calligrapher active during mid-fifteenth-century Persia, under Uzun Hasan (r.1457-78) and Sultan Yaqub (r.1478-90). Only two other works by Abu al-Makarim are known: the first is a manuscript copy of the Qasida al-Burda in thuluth and naskh scripts, accompanied by its Persian translation and dated 873 AH/1468 AD; and the second a copy of the Qur'an, executed in thuluth script and dated 875 AH/1470 AD, now in the Topkapi Saray Palace Museum Library (TSM inv.no.K.13).