Lot 4
  • 4

Majd al-Din Ibn Athir (d.1210 AD), Intikab jami’ al-usul fi ahadith al-rasul, a selection from a collection of traditions, ascribed to Yaq'ut al-Musta'simi, Persia, circa 14th/15th century

Estimate
10,000 - 15,000 GBP
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Description

  • ink on paper, bound
Arabic manuscript on paper, 15 leaves, plus 4 flyleaves, 7 lines to the page, written in fine naskh script in black ink within cloud bands against a gold ground, text divided by pointed gold roundels, catchwords, remargined, set into outer margins flecked with gold, borders ruled in colours and gold, opening double page with later illuminated headpiece and polychrome flowers within the interstices, soft brown leather binding with gilt-stamped medallions filled with bird and flower motifs, scroll-work borders 

Condition

In fair overall condition, binding worn, most of text block disbound, thumbed, marginal paper repairs to final folio, calligraphy bold, as viewed.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

Catalogue Note

Following the death of Yaq'ut al-Musta'simi in c.1298 AD, manuscripts executed by him were hugely sought after, and have practically become, in modern times, the Holy Grail of Islamic arts of the book. Because the quantity of manuscripts produced by Yaq'ut was relatively small, facsimiles began to be produced (sometimes with the acknowledgment of the copyist, other times without). Indeed, so scarce were the manuscripts, even a few years after Yaqut's death, the Ilkhanid vizier and collector of Qur'ans Rashid al-Din was only able to find ten by Yaq'ut to add to his library (see James 1992, p.58).

There are fourteen copies of this work, the earliest of which is now in the British Library, dated 593 AH/1197 AD (Stocks and Baker 2001, p.34B). See also Brockelmann: GAL, S.I. 607–608; and for abridgments and selections from the work: I.357.

One fairly common feature of Yaq'ut manuscripts is that they have often been remargined and re-illuminated, as is the case with the present prayer book, so some artistic evidence of the original manuscript is lost. Related manuscripts were sold in these rooms 8 October 2014, lot 33; 9 October 2013, lot 48 and 25 April 2012, lot 414.