AN ILLUSTRATED EROTIC MANUSCRIPT: THE BOOK OF ALFIEH AND SHARDUYEH (SHALFIEH?)
PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION
Iran, dated Saturday the end of Rajab 1222 AH (October 1807)
Persian manuscript on paper, 42ff. plus four fly leaves, each folio with 24ll. of black ink Persian light shikasteh nasta’liq script, significant words in red, the opening bifolio with illuminated headings, 10 folios with illustrations of couples in Qajar interiors, in opaque watercolours, catchwords, library stamps including Jenab, Ghahraman, Feizullah, and Adbdul Raji Mohammad Hassan, in a lacquer binding, the outer covers with gol-o-bolbol design on a buff ground, bordered horizontally by lines of poetry in white regarding heavenly angels of both genders, the interiors with flowering narcissi on a red ground, the text panel 21cm x 10cm, the folio 24.8cm x 13.5cm.
Despite the very direct and often repetitive illustrations, the emphasis of this erotic manuscript weighs on the importance of good manners, the choice of good company, personal hygiene, and thorough grooming, as well as an understanding of the body's anatomy and synchrony. Most interestingly, although the text is clearly directed at a male audience, the narrative often describes matters from the female point of view.
Sold for £20,000
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