f.24b Yusuf outside Zulaykha’s bedchamber.
f.43b The Aziz of Egypt before Zulaykha.
f.70b Yusuf takes up being a shepherd.
f.83b The house with an image of Yusuf and Zulaykha depicted on the wall.
f.98a Zulaykha’s maidens cut their fingers at seeing Yusuf’s beauty.
f.118a Yusuf before the king after having being released from prison.
f.122a Zulaykha builds a house on Yusuf’s path.
During the fifteenth century, exchanges between the Timurid and Ming empires increased and paper decorated either with gold-splashes or gold animals and floral scrolls was imported from the Far East into Central Asia. The choice of using special paper for the margins shows a development and growing interest in the borders as an integral part of the manuscript.
The earliest dated examples of gold-decorated paper can be found in two copies of a Diwan by Farid al-Din ‘Attar, dedicated to Shahrukh (dated to circa 1438, both in the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum, inv. no.TIEM-1992 and Topkapi Palace, Istanbul inv. no.TKS-Ahmed III-3050). A copy of Mir Haydar Khwarazmi’s Makhzan al-asrar now in the New York Public Library (inv.no. ms.41) is written on Chinese paper dyed blue and decorated with fine gold landscape scenes (published in Blair 2006, p.51 and in Bloom 2001, cover). Soon after, Persian craftsmen began producing their own versions of gold-flecked paper that came to be used in both the Timurid and Turkoman ateliers. By the sixteenth century they were largely used for Safavid and Mughal manuscripts (Blair 2006, pp.50-54).
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