A MONUMENTAL CALLIGRAPHIC PANEL (LEVHA), SIGNED BY RASA, SYRIA, OTTOMAN, DATED 1312 AH/1894-95 AD
Arabic manuscript on paper, written in thuluth in black ink against a red and gold ground, framed
panel: 54.5 by 117cm.
69 by 131cm. framed
Creases and stains, some rubbing and loss to the illuminations, 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."
Christie's London, 19 October 1993, lot 18.
N. Safwat, A Collector’s Eye. Islamic calligraphy in Qur’ans and other manuscripts, London 2010, no.81, pp.298-9.
The calligrapher can possibly be identified with Muhammad Yusuf Raza (d.1916) who worked under the patronage of Sultan Adbulhamid (r.1876-1909) and was commissioned to produce the calligraphy of the mihrab in the great mosque of Damascus. A master of thuluth, when he moved to Syria he also taught the famous Muhammad Hosni, also known as Muhammad Kamal Hosny al-Baba. The line in muhaqqaq reads 'the steadiness of the country is with justice', while the panels above and below mention the benefits of having a just Sultan.