Khamsa (Quintet) by Nizami (d.1209)

citation

Manuscript; Khamsa (Quintet) by Nizami; text: Persian in black nasta’liq script; headings in red; 267 folios with two illuminated shamsa (fols. 1recto and 83recto), four sarlawhs (fols. 27verso, 83verso, 144verso, and 195verso), and 8 paintings (fols. 91verso, 94recto,101recto, 104verso, 115verso, 122recto, 129verso, 134recto); seal (folio 1recto); inscriptions (folio 1recto); standard page: 4 columns, 23 lines of text.
Binding: The manuscript is in a nineteenth-century lacquer-painted binding with floral designs. The doublures are in red lacquer with a single stemmed narcissus.

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Historical period(s)
Timurid period, 1433-1434 (837 A.H.)
Medium
Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 23.5 x 15.8 cm (9 1/4 x 6 1/4 in)
Geography
Probably Iran, Fars, Shiraz
Credit Line
Purchase — Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds, Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program, and Dr. Arthur M. Sackler
Collection
Henri Vever collection
Accession Number
S1986.33
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Manuscript
Type

Manuscript

Keywords
Henri Vever collection, illumination, Iran, Khamsa, Timurid period (1378 - 1506), WWII-era provenance
Provenance

To 1913
Georges Demotte (1877-1923), Paris, France. [1]

From 1913 to 1942
Henri Vever (1854-1942), Paris and Noyers, France, purchased from Georges Demotte, Paris, France on July 23, 1913. [2]

From 1942 to 1986
Family member, Paris and Boulogne, France, by inheritance from Henri Vever, Paris and Noyers, France. [3]

From 1986
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, purchased from a family member, Paris and Boulogne, France. [4]

Notes:

[1] See Susan Nemazee, "Appendix 7: Chart of Recent Provenance" in An Annotated and Illustrated Checklist of the Vever Collection, Glenn D. Lowry et al (Washington, D.C.: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1988), p. 399. See also Glen D. Lowry and Susan Nemazee, "Appendix 2: Ledger of Acquisitions, 1894 and 1907-17" in A Jeweler’s Eye: Islamic Arts of the Book from the Vever Collection (Washington, D.C.: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1988), p. 234.

[2] See note 1.

[3] See the Agreement for the Purchase and Sale of the Henri Vever Collection of January 9, 1986, Collections Management Office.

[4] See note 3.

Previous Owner(s)

Francois Mautin French, born 1907
Henri Vever 1854 - 1942
Georges Demotte 1877 - 1923

Description

Manuscript; Khamsa (Quintet) by Nizami; text: Persian in black nasta'liq script; headings in red; 267 folios with two illuminated shamsa (fols. 1recto and 83recto), four sarlawhs (fols. 27verso, 83verso, 144verso, and 195verso), and 8 paintings (fols. 91verso, 94recto,101recto, 104verso, 115verso, 122recto, 129verso, 134recto); seal (folio 1recto); inscriptions (folio 1recto); standard page: 4 columns, 23 lines of text.
Binding: The manuscript is in a nineteenth-century lacquer-painted binding with floral designs. The doublures are in red lacquer with a single stemmed narcissus.

Inscription(s)

Fol. 1 recto “entered into the library of the slave, the weak, the least servant of God the powerful, Ali b. Lutfullah b. Al-Sadiq al-Husayni. May God stand him in rectitude.
Seal: folio 1 recto, (oval) Muhammad al-Faydi [?]."

Label

Ilyas b. Yusuf Nizami (1141-1209) was born in Ganja (present-day Kirovabad) in the northwestern Iranian province of Azerbaijan. Although little is known about his life, he is considered one of the greatest poets of the romantic epic in the history of Iranian literature. His Khamsa (quintet) is composed of the Makhzan al-Asrar (treasure Chamber of Mysteries), Khusraw u Shirin, Layla u Majnun, the Haft paykar (Seven Portraits), and the Iskandar cycle, or Iskandarnama which is usually divided into two parts: the Sharafnama (Book of Honor) and the Iqbalnama (Book of Happiness). Although the poems were written individually and each one has its own rhythm, meter, and set of concerns, they are generally presented as a single assembly.

Published References
  • Glenn D. Lowry, Milo Cleveland Beach, Elisabeth West FitzHugh, Susan Nemanzee, Janet Snyder. An Annotated and Illustrated Checklist of the Vever Collection. Washington and Seattle. cat. 236, pp. 203-205.
  • Lawrence Binyon, J.V.S. Wilkinson, Basil Gray. Persian Miniature Painting: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Miniatures Exhibited at Burlington House, January-March 1931. Exh. cat. Oxford, January - March 1931. cat. 52, p. 72, pl. LIa.
  • Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Persian Art. Exh. cat. London. cat. 539d, p. 256.
  • B. W. Robinson. Fifteenth-Century Persian Painting: Problems and Issues. Hagop Kevorkian Series on Near Eastern Art and Civilization New York. p. 64.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum