Folio from a Khamsa (Quintet) by Amir Khusraw Dihlavi (d.1325); recto: left-hand half of a double-page Illumination; verso: text: Initial prayers on prime being of the divine presence

citation

Detached bifolio from a dispersed copy of Khamsa (Quintet) by Amir Khusraw Dihlavi; text: Persian in black nasta’liq script; headings in white, gold, red and blue; recto: left-hand half of a double-page illumination, two columns, ten lines; verso: text: Initial prayers on prime being of the divine presence, four columns, twenty one lines; one of a group of three: the binding (S1986.472) and folios (S1986.72.1-2) are accessioned separately.
Border: The text is set in an illuminated border.

View right to left

Historical period(s)
Safavid period, circa 1575-1600
Medium
Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W: 35.5 x 24.1 cm (14 x 9 1/2 in)
Geography
Iran, Qazvin
Credit Line
Purchase — Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds, Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program, and Dr. Arthur M. Sackler
Collection
Henri Vever collection
Accession Number
S1986.72.2
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Manuscript
Type

Detached manuscript folio

Keywords
Henri Vever collection, illumination, Iran, Khamsa, nasta'liq script, Safavid period (1501 - 1722), WWII-era provenance
Provenance

To 1911
Claude Anet (1868-1931), Paris, France. [1]

From 1911 to 1942
Henri Vever (1854-1942), Paris and Noyers, France, purchased from Claude Anet, Paris, France on October 19, 1911. [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] Claude Anet was the pseudonym of writer Jean Schopfer. 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. 400. 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. 231.

[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
Claude Anet 1868 - 1931

Description

Detached bifolio from a dispersed copy of Khamsa (Quintet) by Amir Khusraw Dihlavi; text: Persian in black nasta'liq script; headings in white, gold, red and blue; recto: left-hand half of a double-page illumination, two columns, ten lines; verso: text: Initial prayers on prime being of the divine presence, four columns, twenty one lines; one of a group of three: the binding (S1986.472) and folios (S1986.72.1-2) are accessioned separately.
Border: The text is set in an illuminated border.

Label

Nizami's Khamsa inspired several subsequent poets to compose their own versions of the text. One of the most talented such poets was Amir Khusraw Dihlavi-meaning "from Delhi"-who also wrote in Persian. Born in Patiyal in northern India, Amir Khusraw excelled in both lyrical and epic poetry and enjoyed the patronage of several successive Indian rulers.

This finely illuminated frontispiece and the gold-stamped covers formed part of the same copy of the Khamsa. Completed in sixteenth-century Iran, the covers were separated from the text sometime before the early twentieth century. The verses on the cover extol the qualities and attributes of books, considered a person's ideal companion.

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. 207, p. 177.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum

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