Description & Technical information

These four leaves on different coloured papers and with coloured, gold speckled borders, come from a Safavid copy of the poet Awhadi Maraghai's (d. 1338) mystical mathnavi, Jam-e Jam, or the “Cup of Jamshid”. The hand is a beautifully even nasta'liq that can be dated to the mid-16th century. Though the illuminated cartouches for the chapter headings - left blank here - are in a generally Safavid style and cannot be attributed to a particular area, the borders probably indicate that the manuscript was made in Khurasan, the area comprising modern Eastern Iran and Western Afghanistan. For a group of manuscripts with similar borders made around the mid-16th century and attributed to the two main cultural centres in Khurasan, Mashhad and Herat, see a treatise on official correspondence (insha') completed in 1563, a Divan of Shahi, and a copy of Jami's Salaman va Absal, all in the Bibliothèque nationale, Paris (Francis Richard, Splendeurs Persanes, Paris, 1997, nos. 111, 113, 119).

Date:  1550
Period:  1400-1600, 16th Century
Origin:  Iran, Mashhad, Herat
Medium: Paper, Gold speckled borders
Dimensions: 33 x 21.5 cm (13 x 8¹/₂ inches)
Categories: Illuminated Manuscripts & Medieval Works of Art, Oriental and Asian Art