FARHAD AND SHIRIN BY VAHSHI BAFQI (1532 - 1583)
PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION
Iran, 19th century
Persian manuscript on paper, 85ff. plus three fly leaves, each folio with 13ll. of fine black shikasteh nasta’liq, the opening bifolio with exquisite gold and polychrome illumination, the chapter headings in red ink on burnished gold cartouches, catchwords, the text as far as ‘the conversation of Shirin with Farhad’ in the mathnawi meter arranged in two columns, in blue and gold rules, a library stamp of Zia Lashkar Taqi Danesh Shiraz 1303 AH (1885), numbered 36 and 65, a total of 12 miniatures illustrating the text, set in a fine lacquer binding, the outer covers with ‘gol-o-bolbol’ and a butterfly against a dark ground, the inner covers with a bird and a butterfly on a lemon tree against a red ground, the text panel 12cm x 6.2cm, the folio 15.4cm x 9.3cm.
The romance of Farhad and Shirin was left unfinished at the time of Vahshi’s death. The completion of the tome in 1835 by Vessal Shirazi created a new interest in this story and led to an increased demand for such manuscripts, suitably illustrated with miniatures in a Safavid archaistic style.
Sold for £4,750
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