Lot 25
  • 25

Important coran, par Ahmad al-Nayrizi, Iran, art safavide, daté 1121H./1709-10

40,000 - 60,000 EUR
bidding is closed


  • par Ahmad al-Nayrizi
  • encre noire, blanche et rouge, gouache et or sur papier moucheté à l'or
encre noire, blanche et rouge, gouache et or sur papier moucheté à l'or, 244 folios de 17 lignes en naskhi par page, rosettes dorées indiquant la fin des versets, titres des sourates inscrits et encadrés à l'or dans des cartouches rectangulaires, les juz', khams et 'ashr signalés dans les marges, en toutes lettres à l'or, double-page de frontispice richement enluminée en polychromie et or, le texte en réserve sur un fond or, les titres inscrits en blanc sur fond or entouré de bleu, l'ensemble surmonté d'une large rosace à décor concentrique bleu et or, le fond tapissé de rinceaux et ponctué de boutons de lotus, reliure laquée et rehaussée d'or sur un fond noir, à décor "tazhib" de séries de bouquets dorés dans un encadrement de rinceaux de fleurettes, l'intérieur des plats à fond rouge, ornés chacun de quatre bouquets élancés

Catalogue Note

Signature : "alâ yad al-faqîr al-haqîr al-mushtâq ilâ lutfi rabbi-hi al-kabîr al-mudhnib Ahmad al-Nayrizi, sanat 1121" ; by the hand of the poor, the humble, hoping the grace of his god, whoever has sinned, Ahmad al-Nayrizî the year 1121.

The calligrapher

Ahmad al-Nayrizi was the most important calligrapher working in Iran at the turn of the 17th to 18th century. He was active between 1682 and 1739. Originally from the town of Nayriz in Fars. He practiced calligraphy under the supervision of Muhammad Ibrahim Ibn Muhammad Nasir Qumi, better known as Aqa Ibrahim Qumi, who worked from 1659 to 1707. Sometime in late 17th century, Nayrizi settled in Isfahan, where Ibrahim Qumi was living and where he came to the attention of Shah Sultan Husayn (r.1694-1722). The Shah and his court became important patrons of Nayrizi, who is reputed to have commanded large fees for his work. Ahmad al-Nayrizi's speciality was naskh, the round script that had been used for regular copying but that was transformed at this time into a fine calligraphic style used for manuscripts of the Qur'an and other religious texts in Arabic. He codified and regularized it, closing up the spaces between words so that the letters flow smoothly and rhythmically across the flat baseline, in contrast to the contemporary nasta'liq, in which syllables or words are posed on the diagonal (see S.S. Blair, Islamic Calligraphy, Edinbourg University Press, 2006, p. 425). Al-Nayrizi continued producing work of royal quality for almost two decades, and naskh calligraphers of later generations were proud to associate their skills with him. For further information about the calligrapher, see : N. Safwat, The Art of the Pen, Azimuth Edition & Oxford University Press, London, 1996, pp. 212-13.

Comparable manuscripts

A Qur'an by Nayrizi is conserved in the Nasser D. Khalili Collection (M. Bayani (ed.), The Decorated Word, vol.IV, 1999, p. 128, no.53). Two other Qur'ans by him, later than ours appeared at auction : one dedicated to Fath ‘Ali Shah Qajar, dated 1821 was sold at Sotheby's London, 9 October 2013, lot 80 ; another dated 1720 was sold at Christie's London, 4 October 2012, lot 28.  

The binding

The elegant design on the binding and its specific style suggest that it was certainly made by an illuminator chief (Muzahab-e Bashi).