Lot 35 (Islamic & Indian Art, 22nd April 2020)
AN UNBOUND VOLUME OF A POETIC ANTHOLOGY AND FOUR FOLIOS FROM THE BUSTAN OF SA'DI
Safavid Iran, the volume 16th -17th century, the folios late 17th - early 18th century
Persian manuscript on fine woven paper of varying pale hues sprinkled with gold, each folio with 11ll. of black ink elegant kitabat nasta'liq script, 196ff., many folios with chalipa diagonal lines, the poetry of Ghassemi Gonabadi (died 1574) intermixed with that of Hafez, within gold, black and blue rulings, the text panel 13.3cm x 8cm., the folios 18.5cm x 12cm.; and four folios in fine nasta'liq calligraphy, each folio with 15ll. in black ink, the poetry arranged in three columns, the left column in diagonal order, with delicate illumination in triangles at the bottom and top, chapter headings in naskh, some in red and some in gold, in gold and black rulings, the text panel 16.3cm x 15.8cm, the folio 23cm x 15.8cm.
The unbound volume is an unusual example of promotion by association. In the 17th century, the field of Safavid poetry was rather depleted by the talent drain to the Mughal court and by the austerity imposed by the court Shia religiosity. In this compilation, Ghassemi's indifferent prose claims equal status with Hafez' dazzling work.
Sold for £425