Sa'di, Bustan, a lavishly illuminated and illustrated manuscript, copied by Sultan Muhammad Khandan
Bukhara, probably Herat, dated AH 9/AD 1549
Persian manuscript on gold-sprinkled cream-coloured paper, 162 leaves including a total of 6 pages at beginning and end exquisitely decorated with exotic birds amidst stylised floral and vegetal motifs in gold, 14 lines to the page written in two columns of elegant nasta'liq script in black ink, double intercolumnar rules in gold, inner margins ruled in blue and gold, catchwords in wide outer margins which are richly stencilled with intertwining floral and vegetal motifs in pink and blue outlined in gold, interspersed with cut-out medallions decorated with floral motifs and serrated leaves in gold on green, dark blue and turquoise grounds, headings written in thuluth and naskhi scripts in alternating red, blue and gold within illuminated panels in colours and gold, a fine illuminated frontispiece incorporating the opening verses preceded by two illuminated shamsas incorporating the title and the author's name written in nasta'liq in white on a gold ground decorated with wiry intertwining vegetal motifs in black, each shamsa within a rectangular panel exquisitely decorated with intertwining floral and vegetal motifs in gold and blue respectively, one double-page miniature and four full-page miniatures painted in the Bukhara style, some flaking resulting in loss of small areas of painted surface, some faces crudely retouched with black ink at a later date, oxidisation, waterstaining mostly restricted to outer margins throughout, some crude repairs, folio 1a defective, numerous royal Safavid and Mughal library inscription and seal impressions on folio 2a, others have been crudely erased, only lower cover of original binding survives, detached, reddish-brown morocco with stamped leather onlay decorated with cranes and ducks in a stream and beside a tree, in the central medallion, and amidst intertwining floral motifs and Chinese cloud-bands in the central panel, defective, doublures decorated with gilt paper filigree on a lapis-lazuli ground, defective
278 x 189 mm.; miniatures approx. 220 x 127 mm.