An illustrated leaf from a manuscript of Firdausi's Shahnama, attributed to Mu'in Mussavir Persia, mid-17th Century
Lot 13
An illustrated leaf from a dispersed manuscript of Firdausi's Shahnama, depicting Gushtasp killing the rhinoceros, attributed to Mu'in Musavvir Isfahan, circa 1667
Sold for £5,400 (US$ 9,076) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
An illustrated leaf from a dispersed manuscript of Firdausi's Shahnama, depicting Gushtasp killing the rhinoceros, attributed to Mu'in Musavvir
Isfahan, circa 1667
Persian manuscript on paper, 30 lines to the page written in four columns of nasta'liq script in black ink, double intercolumnar rules in gold, inner margins ruled in blue, red and gold, heading written in nasta'liq in red ink, one tear crudely repaired, corners rather thumbed, one hole and some flaking to painted surface
leaf 357 x 225 mm.; text area 250 x 140 mm.

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Formerly in the collection of Helen Temple Cooke, Massachusetts, USA.
    Her estate sale, Robert C. Eldred Auctioneers, East Dennis, Mass., August 19th-20th [no date, but probably late 1950s], probably lot 306.
    See lot 29 in the present sale for a Qajar marriage certificate, also from her collection.

    Six other leaves from the same manuscript, at least one of which is signed by Mu'in Musavvir and dated AH 1077/AD 1666-67, are in the collection of the late Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan (now in the Aga Khan Museum Collection). The style, layout and colours of this miniature, the dimensions of the page, and the presence of a number in the margin opposite the painting confirm that the leaf is from the same manuscript.

    See Sheila Canby, Princes, Poets and Paladins: Islamic and Indian Paintings from the collection of Prince and Princess Sadruddin Aga Khan, London 1998, pp. 85-86, no. 57; ibid., Spirit and Life: Masterpieces of Islamic Art from the Aga Khan Museum Collection, Geneva 2007, p. 182, no. 155.
    For the latest study on Mu'in Musavvir and his work, see Sheila Canby, 'An Illustrated Shahnameh of 1650: Isfahan in the service of Yazd', in The Journal of the David Collection, vol. 3, Copenhagen 2010, pp. 54-113.

    Helen Temple Cooke (1865-1955) was a renowned figure in the education of women from around the turn of the 20th Century until her retirement in 1951. She was responsible for the growth of the four Dana Hall Schools, run on then advanced principles. She was also an astute businesswoman and was able to finance both the schools and her own collecting, notably of Persian art from the 16th to the 20th Century, as well American furniture.
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