ABU 'ALI AL-HUSAYN B. 'ABDULLAH B. AL-HASAN IBN 'ALI IBN SINA, KNOWN AS AVICENNA (D.1037 AD), KITAB AL-SHIFA ('THE BOOK OF HEALING'), COPIED BY AHMED IBN 'ALI AL-SHIRAZI, PERSIA, TIMURID, DATED 897 AH/1492 AD
ABU 'ALI AL-HUSAYN B. 'ABDULLAH B. AL-HASAN IBN 'ALI IBN SINA, KNOWN AS AVICENNA (D.1037 AD), KITAB AL-SHIFA ('THE BOOK OF HEALING'), COPIED BY AHMED IBN 'ALI AL-SHIRAZI, PERSIA, TIMURID, DATED 897 AH/1492 AD
ABU 'ALI AL-HUSAYN B. 'ABDULLAH B. AL-HASAN IBN 'ALI IBN SINA, KNOWN AS AVICENNA (D.1037 AD), KITAB AL-SHIFA ('THE BOOK OF HEALING'), COPIED BY AHMED IBN 'ALI AL-SHIRAZI, PERSIA, TIMURID, DATED 897 AH/1492 AD
ABU 'ALI AL-HUSAYN B. 'ABDULLAH B. AL-HASAN IBN 'ALI IBN SINA, KNOWN AS AVICENNA (D.1037 AD), KITAB AL-SHIFA ('THE BOOK OF HEALING'), COPIED BY AHMED IBN 'ALI AL-SHIRAZI, PERSIA, TIMURID, DATED 897 AH/1492 AD
15

ABU 'ALI AL-HUSAYN B. 'ABDULLAH B. AL-HASAN IBN 'ALI IBN SINA, KNOWN AS AVICENNA (D.1037 AD), KITAB AL-SHIFA ('THE BOOK OF HEALING'), COPIED BY AHMED IBN 'ALI AL-SHIRAZI, PERSIA, TIMURID, DATED 897 AH/1492 AD

Estimate: 15,000 - 25,000 GBP

ABU 'ALI AL-HUSAYN B. 'ABDULLAH B. AL-HASAN IBN 'ALI IBN SINA, KNOWN AS AVICENNA (D.1037 AD), KITAB AL-SHIFA ('THE BOOK OF HEALING'), COPIED BY AHMED IBN 'ALI AL-SHIRAZI, PERSIA, TIMURID, DATED 897 AH/1492 AD

Estimate: 15,000 - 25,000 GBP

Lot Sold:27,500GBP

Lot Details

Description

ABU 'ALI AL-HUSAYN B. 'ABDULLAH B. AL-HASAN IBN 'ALI IBN SINA, KNOWN AS AVICENNA (D.1037 AD), KITAB AL-SHIFA ('THE BOOK OF HEALING'), COPIED BY AHMED IBN 'ALI AL-SHIRAZI, PERSIA, TIMURID, DATED 897 AH/1492 AD


Arabic manuscript on paper, 340 leaves plus 2 fly-leaves, 33 lines to the page, written in naskh in black in, ruled in gold and blue, important words and titles in red or gold, f.1a with a polychrome and gold shamsa naming the owner of the volume, f.1b with a gold and polychrome heading, in a black leather binding


text panel: 20.7 by 9.8cm.

leaf: 30.3 by 17.6cm.

Condition Report

The manuscript has been rebound and the current binding is modern, the margins are affected by water stains, as visible from the images in the catalogue, some rubbing but overall the text is clear, some losses to the illumination on f.1a and several ownership inscriptions, 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."

Cataloguing

Provenance

Christie's London, 27 April 1993, lot 62.

Literature

N. Safwat, A Collector’s Eye. Islamic calligraphy in Qur’ans and other manuscripts, London 2010, no.56, pp.222-3.

Catalogue Note

The shamsa on f.1a gives us the name of ‘Ala ibn al-Husain b. ‘Ali al-Shaqi and the date Rabi’ I 898 AH/1492 AD. ‘Ala ibn al-Husain must have been the commissioner of this impressive volume. Another ownership note gives the name Muhammad ibn Hasan al-Tusi.


Ibn Sina was born in 980 AD in Afshana near Bukhara, in Greater Khurasan. His native language was Persian, but, like the majority of scholars of the period, he wrote in Arabic. Thanks to his father's position as an official in the Samanid government, Ibn Sina was given a fine education and his precocity is said to have been such that he quickly surpassed his teachers in knowledge and problem-solving skills. At the age of eighteen, he became a qualified physician and was hailed for curing the Amir of Khurasan of a severe illness. As a most precious reward he was given access to the extensive library of the Samanid princes, where he would spend countless hours immersed in scholarly work. Known as Avicenna in the West, Ibn Sina can be regarded as the most influential writer in the history of medicine. His unparalleled al-Qanun fi'l tibb or 'The Canon of Medicine', completed circa 1025 AD, gathered the totality of medical knowledge at the time. A dedicated intellectual, he spent the latter part of his life at Isfahan, unexpectedly dying during an expedition to Hamadan in 1037 AD. 


The Kitab al-shifa is divided into four sections, on logic, physics, mathematics and metaphysics. In it Ibn Sina discusses the necessary existence of God, the non-material nature of the human soul and the mind, the perception and the sensations. There are eight copies of this work in the British Library, the earliest of which is dated 485 AH/1092-93 AD (Or. 11190; see Stocks & Baker 2001, p.196). Two copies are in the John Rylands Library, Manchester (Mingana 1934, pp.615-9, nos.378-9). A copy dated 898 AH/1493 AD sold recently at Christie’s London, 26 October 2017, lot 3. See also Brockelmann, GAL, I. 454 and S., I. 815.

THE SHAKERINE COLLECTION: Calligraphy in Qur’ans and other Manuscripts
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