Frontispiece to a Khamsa (Quintet) by Nizami (d.1209)

citation

Manuscript; Khamsa (Quintet) by Nizami; Persian in black nasta’liq script; illuminated headings in blue and white; 405 folios with a double-page frontispiece (fols. 1verso, 2 recto), 5 sarlawhs (fols. 34 verso,125 verso,189 verso, 260 verso, 354 verso), 26 paintings (17 verso, 32 verso, 44 recto, 48 recto, 52 verso, 62 recto, 82 recto, 92 recto, 108 verso, 115 verso, 137 recto, 150 verso, 171 verso, 180 recto, 201 verso, 207 verso, 210 verso, 218 recto, 253 recto, 279 recto, 293 verso, 305 recto, 328 verso, 341 recto, 369 recto, 388 verso) and 2 dated colophons (fols. 125 and 405 recto); seals (fols.1 and 405 recto); inscriptions (fols. 1 recto, 125 recto, 405 recto); standard page: 4 columns, 19 lines of text.
Binding: The manuscript is bound in a lacquer binding decorated with a central scalloped medallion, and doublures of paper.

Maker(s)
Calligrapher: Muhammad Kafi
Historical period(s)
Safavid period, 1527-1528 (1509 A.H.)
Medium
Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W: 28.2 x 17.8 cm (11 1/8 x 7 in)
Geography
Iran, Possibly Isfahan
Credit Line
Purchase — Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds, Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program, and Dr. Arthur M. Sackler
Collection
Henri Vever collection
Accession Number
S1986.37
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Manuscript
Type

Manuscript

Keywords
Henri Vever collection, Iran, Safavid period (1501 - 1722), WWII-era provenance
Provenance

Walter Schulz. [1]

From at least 1923
Rudolf Meyer Riefstahl (1880-1936). [2]

To 1942
Henri Vever (1854-1942), Paris and Noyers, France. [3]

From 1942 to 1986
Family member, Paris and Boulogne, France, by inheritance from Henri Vever, Paris and Noyers, France. [4]

From 1986
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, purchased from a family member, Paris and Boulogne, France. [5]

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.

[2] The object is documented as having appeared in the collection of R. M. Riefstahl by at least April 1923. See note 1.

[3] See notes 1 and 2.

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

[5] See note 4.

Previous Owner(s)

Francois Mautin French, born 1907
Henri Vever 1854 - 1942
Philipp Walter Schulz
Rudolf Meyer Riefstahl 1880 - 1936

Description

Manuscript; Khamsa (Quintet) by Nizami; Persian in black nasta'liq script; illuminated headings in blue and white; 405 folios with a double-page frontispiece (fols. 1verso, 2 recto), 5 sarlawhs (fols. 34 verso,125 verso,189 verso, 260 verso, 354 verso), 26 paintings (17 verso, 32 verso, 44 recto, 48 recto, 52 verso, 62 recto, 82 recto, 92 recto, 108 verso, 115 verso, 137 recto, 150 verso, 171 verso, 180 recto, 201 verso, 207 verso, 210 verso, 218 recto, 253 recto, 279 recto, 293 verso, 305 recto, 328 verso, 341 recto, 369 recto, 388 verso) and 2 dated colophons (fols. 125 and 405 recto); seals (fols.1 and 405 recto); inscriptions (fols. 1 recto, 125 recto, 405 recto); standard page: 4 columns, 19 lines of text.
Binding: The manuscript is bound in a lacquer binding decorated with a central scalloped medallion, and doublures of paper.

Inscription(s)

Fol.1 recto: "The Khamsa of the shaykh of shaykhs, Shaykh Nizami, was purchased from his lordship Mirza [b.]; Mirza, Muhammad Ali-Naqi, the date of the beginning of the month of Rabi' II in the city of Isfahan in the quarter of Ahmadabad. Written by the least slave Muhammad Kafi."

Fol. 1 recto: "God the most powerful, most sublime said: "O Muhammad, just you and me: I created creation for your sake." The prophet, peace be upon him, said "just you and me: I abandoned creation for your sake." (Hadith)

"There appears in the hadith: A man came to His Highness and said, " I have sworn to fast until the Day of Judgement," and [the Prophet], peace be upon him, said, "Fast except on the two feasts, because Husayn was killed on Monday."

Fol. 125 recto: Colophon: "The book known as Khusraw va Shirin was finished by the aid of God the most sublime, the munificent lord, and by divine guidance on Monday the nineteenth of the holy month of Dhu'l-Hijja in the year [A.H.] nine hundred and fifteen [A.D., April 21, 1509]. Peace and prayer upon the best of his creation Muhammad and his family. Praise to God the Lord of the universe."

Fol. 405 recto: "This noble copy was finished by the aid of the sublime lord, the gentle, from the words of the great poet, proof of learned men and examplar of scholars, Majuddin Ilyas, known as Shaykh Nizami of Ganja, God bless him and forgive him, at the tomb of the deceased Maulana Husamuddin Ibrahim. May God bless his spirit. The year [A.H.] 934 [A.D. 1527-28].
Seals: fol.1 recto (oval) Muhammad Ashraf...has hope for cure; (oval) his slave, the hopeful Gayumarth; (Square) Abdul-Rahim. I confide my cause unto God; [From Sura XL:44]. Fol. 405 recto (square) Abdul-Rahim. I confide my cause unto God. [From Sura XL: 44] [A.H.] 1250 [A.D. 1834-35]; (oval) [illegible].

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. 249, pp. 217-221.
  • Glenn D. Lowry Susan Nemanzee. A Jeweler's Eye: Islamic Arts of the Book from the Vever Collection. Washington and Seattle. p. 33, fig. 15.
  • Philipp Walter Schulz. Die Persisch-Islamische Miniaturmalerei: Ein Beitrag zur Kunstgeschichte Irans. 2 vols, Leipzig. pls. 76-78.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum