An illuminated book of prayers according to the Shi'a rite, and selected suras from the Qur'an, copied by Mulla Muhammad Husain bin Mulla Muhammad Taqi Shirazi, in a fine contemporary floral lacquer binding MANIJEH £3000-5000 OCT? Qajar Persia, probably Shiraz, dated Jumada al-Ula 1284/....1867-68
Lot 24
An illuminated book of prayers according to the Shi'a rite, and selected suras from the Qur'an, copied by Mulla Muhammad Hasan, son of the deceased Akhund Mulla Muhammad Taqi Shirazi, in a fine contemporary floral lacquer binding Qajar Persia, probably Shiraz, dated 3rd Jumadi al-Ula 1284/2nd September 1867
£3,000 - 5,000
US$ 4,700 - 7,800

Lot Details
An illuminated book of prayers according to the Shi'a rite, and selected suras from the Qur'an, copied by Mulla Muhammad Husain bin Mulla Muhammad Taqi Shirazi, in a fine contemporary floral lacquer binding MANIJEH £3000-5000 OCT? Qajar Persia, probably Shiraz, dated Jumada al-Ula 1284/....1867-68
An illuminated book of prayers according to the Shi'a rite, and selected suras from the Qur'an, copied by Mulla Muhammad Hasan, son of the deceased Akhund Mulla Muhammad Taqi Shirazi, in a fine contemporary floral lacquer binding
Qajar Persia, probably Shiraz, dated 3rd Jumadi al-Ula 1284/2nd September 1867
Arabic and Persian manuscript on cream-coloured paper, 274 leaves, 17 lines to the page written in clear naskhi script in black ink, significant words picked out in red, inner margins ruled in blue and gold, catchwords, sura headings and titles of prayers written within illuminated cartouches in the upper corner of each page, one illuminated headpiece in colours and gold preceded by four pages containing the index and talismanic charts, headings written in thuluth script in blue and red within illuminated panels, Persian commentaries written diagonally in nasta'liq script in outer margins at beginning, slightly creased otherwise in good condition, fine contemporary lacquer covers decorated with bulbuls perched on branches of wild roses, exotic butterflies alighting on flowers on a gold-sprinkled ground, doublures decorated with narcissi on a red ground, covers detached, green cloth covers
234 x 145 mm.

Footnotes

  • The manuscript was commissioned by a certain Aqa Mirza 'Abd al-Husayn, known as Mirza Aqa, son of Mirza Badi' al-Zaman, known as Mirza Aqa Bozorg Mustawfi. It bears birth dates of both boys and girls from AH 1293/AD 1876 to AH 1314/AD 1896, and a death date of AH 1332/AD 1914. It was in the Qajar Royal Library at least up to the year AH 1325/AD 1907, when it was inspected and stamped.

    The two pages containing talismanic charts consist of quotations from the Qur'an, suras I, al-Fatihah; LXVIII, al-Qalam, verses 51 and 52; the nada 'ali quatrain, the Shi'a shahadah; prayers; invocations to God; the names of the Fourteen Innocents; the names of Abraham, Noah, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad and 'Ali; the names of the four Evangelists or combinations of the above. There are also magic numbers and letters and it is recommended that looking at the relevant panel on the first day of the lunar calendar month will protect one from harm. One particular chart lists the 12 months and gives what one should look at according to different sources: for example, according to Imam Ja'far on the first of Muharram, one should look at water, while another source recommends emerald.

    The lacquer covers can perhaps be attributed to Lutf'ali Shirazi. See N. D. Khalili, B. W. Robinson, T. Stanley, Lacquer of the Islamic Lands, Part One, London 1996, pp. 212-213, no. 159.
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