Mathnavi-ye ma’navi (Rhyming couplets of profound spriritual meaning) by Rumi (d.1273)

citation

Manuscript; The fifth daftar (book) of Mathnavi by Rumi; Persian in black and red nasta’liq script; 44 folios with 1double-page frontispiece (fols. 1 verso- 2 recto) and 1 sarlawh (folio 2 verso), a dated colophon (folio 44 recto); inscriptions (fols. flyleaf, 1 recto, fol. 44 recto/ verso); seals (fols1 recto, and 44 recto/verso); standard page: 4 columns, 19 lines of text.
Binding: The manuscript is bound in contemporary leather over paper pasteboards with gold block-stamped designs on the exterior covers and doublures of leather filigree over a multicolored paper ground punctuated with inlaid pieces of mica. The envelop flap has a surface and border identical to that on the upper and lower covers.

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Maker(s)
Calligrapher: Sultan Ali b. Muhammad al-Mashhadi
Author: Rumi (Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rumi) (1207 - 1273)
Historical period(s)
Timurid period (text), Safavid period (illumination and painting), 1458-1459 (863 A.H.) (text); ca. 1530 (illumination and painting)
Medium
Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W: 16.4 x 10.5 cm (6 7/16 x 4 1/8 in)
Geography
Iran, Tabriz (painting)
Credit Line
Purchase — Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds, Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program, and Dr. Arthur M. Sackler
Collection
Henri Vever collection
Accession Number
S1986.35
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Manuscript
Type

Manuscript

Keywords
Afghanistan, flute, Henri Vever collection, Iran, nasta'liq script, percussion instrument, Safavid period (1501 - 1722), Timurid period (1378 - 1506), WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Francois Mautin French, born 1907
Henri Vever 1854 - 1942

Description

Manuscript; The fifth daftar (book) of Mathnavi by Rumi; Persian in black and red nasta'liq script; 44 folios with 1double-page frontispiece (fols. 1 verso- 2 recto) and 1 sarlawh (folio 2 verso), a dated colophon (folio 44 recto); inscriptions (fols. flyleaf, 1 recto, fol. 44 recto/ verso); seals (fols1 recto, and 44 recto/verso); standard page: 4 columns, 19 lines of text.
Binding: The manuscript is bound in contemporary leather over paper pasteboards with gold block-stamped designs on the exterior covers and doublures of leather filigree over a multicolored paper ground punctuated with inlaid pieces of mica. The envelop flap has a surface and border identical to that on the upper and lower covers.

Inscription(s)

Flyleaf: "fifth book of the Mathnawi."
Folio 1 recto: (in red ink): " he who in the presence of his lordship."
Folio 1 verso (on pishtaq architecture): "your residence is the qibla of the pure. The arch of your portico is the niche for prayer. "

Fol. 44recto: "written by the poor sinful slave, in need of forgiveness of the One, Sultan-Ali b. Muhammad al-Mashhadi. May God forgive the sins and faults of him and his father. In the months of the year [A.H.] eight hundred and sixty-three [A.D. 1458-59]."

Fol. 44 recto (in the margins): " in the year one thousand three hundred . . . and one of the hegira, the honored 22nd of Sha'ban, one thousand three hundred and twenty [A.D. November 24, 1902] [signature]."

Folio 44 recto: "this description is written today as I am sitting in the Dar al-Khilafa of Tehran, today is the third of [Bahman] and also the auspicious 'id of Ghadir Khum, sitting in the presence of a number of noble men and speaking of [?] In short that the mighty God may he keep alive [?] Emam Shams [?] al-din Amir al-Mu'menin mazhar al-'aja'ib va mazhar [?]..."

Marking(s)

Seal: fol.1 recto (square) Al-Mahdi is he whom you guide. [A.H.] 1260 [A.D. 1844-45].
Stamps: flyleaf, International Exhibition of Persian Art, London 1931; endleaf, Chenue Em
balleur

Label

The Mathnawi of Jalaluddin Rumi (1207-1273) is composed of twenty-seven thousand couplets in six books. Devoted to the "intrinsic meaning of all things," the Mathnawi is an encyclopedic work of Sufi philosophy and ethics.

The double-page painting A Prince Enthroned was added to the manuscript at the Safavid court of Shah Tahmasp (r. 1524-76) around 1530. The brilliant colors, highly controlled lines, and subtle characterizations of the image are typical of Safavid work during the second quater of the sixteenth century. Although the painting does not appear to depict a specific scene from the Mathnawi, both the portrayal of an enthroned prince and the various pastimes shown before him are in keeping with the manuscript's many analogies between royal activities and the quest for mystical enlightenment.

Published References
  • Thomas W. Lentz Glenn D. Lowry. Timur and the Princely Vision: Persian Art and Culture in the Fifteenth Century. Exh. cat. Los Angeles. no. 36, pp.319-322.
  • 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. 277, pp. 241-242.
  • Glenn D. Lowry Susan Nemanzee. A Jeweler's Eye: Islamic Arts of the Book from the Vever Collection. Washington and Seattle. pp. 155, 158-159, pl. 47.
  • 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. 185, p. 141.
  • Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Persian Art. Exh. cat. London. cat. 144m, p. 97.
  • Glenn D. Lowry. Persian Miniatures from the Vever Collection. vol. 18, no. 9 Hong Kong, Spring 1989. pp. 46, 49.
  • Rene Grousset. The Civilizations of the East. 4 vols., New York and London, 1931-1934. p. 361, fig. 273.
  • Hunt for Paradise: Court Arts of Safavid Iran, 1501-1576. Exh. cat. Milan. p. 20-21, fig. 1.5.
  • John Renard. Historical Dictionary of Sufism. Historical Dictionaries of Religions, Philosophies and Movements, no. 58 Lanham, MD. fig. 16.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum