Lot 132
  • 132

A concertina-form calligraphic muraqqa' of poetry, signed by Mahmud ibn Ishaq al-Shahabi, Persia, Safavid, 16th century

7,000 - 10,000 GBP
30,000 GBP
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  • ink on paper with leather binding
Persian manuscript on cream paper sprinkled with gold, one long sheet folded into 16 leaves, comprising 14 text panels, each 2 lines to the page, written in fine large nasta'liq script in black ink, surrounded by 10 small panels with smaller black nasta'liq text, margins ruled in white and gold, inner foliate borders of varying colours, outer margins decorated with plants and animals in gold, brown morocco binding with gilt-stamped lobed central cartouche and corner pieces filled with scrolling vines and chinoiserie cloud bands, doublures with gold cut-paper filigree-work 


According to the colophon, the manuscript was copied for an unnamed official with titles Navvab and Khan.

Catalogue Note

The content of the present concertina-form album is on writing nasta’liq letters and their combinations according to the style of its inventor Mir ‘Ali al-Tabrizi. The poems within the border panels are selections from different Persian poets, including Hafiz, Jami and Khaqani.

The scribe Mahmud ibn Ishaq al-Shahabi is mentioned by numerous literary sources.  Originally from the village of Sitavash near Herat, al-Shahabi was renowned as a master in nasta’liq, following Mir ‘Ali Tabrizi’s style. He is said to have been among the artists moved to Bukhara at the capture of Herat in 1528-29, although none of his colophons give Bukhara as the place where they were copied. His recorded works are dated between 924 AH/1518-19 AD and 993 AH/1585 AD (Minorsky, Calligraphers and Painters, Washington, 1959, pp.131-2; Mehdi Bayani, ahval va athar-e khosh-navisan, vol.III, Tehran, 1348 sh, pp.876-880; Adamova & Bayani, Persian Painting, The Arts of the Book and Portraiture, London, 2015, pp.421-3).