A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century

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Lot 12
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi
Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century

£ 100,000 - 200,000
US$ 110,000 - 230,000
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi
Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
Arabic manuscript on paper, 15 leaves and 5 flyleaves, three lines to the page, first and third written in bold thuluth script in black ink, second line written in fine naskhi script in black ink, all within cloudbands on a gold ground with floral motifs in colours, inner margins ruled in gold and blue, outer margins sprinkled with gold, outer margins ruled in gold, some text written diagonally or extending into wide margins, penultimate leaf with signature of the scribe, illumination added at a later date in Persia in the 16th Century, remargined, 16th Century brown morocco with gold stamped central panel with large medallion surrounded by and enclosing cloudbands and a stylised scrolling vine, within a border of stamped floral cartouches, doublures with gold decoupe central medallion, cornerpieces and borders cartouches of coloured paper
300 x 195 mm.

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Christie's, 4th December 1975, lot 94A.

    Yaqut al-Musta'simi is one of the most famous and admired, perhaps the most celebrated, of Islamic calligraphers. His full name was Abu'l Majd Jamal al-Din Yaqut ibn 'Abdullah, and he was born, it is thought, in the early 13th Century, in Anatolia, though there have been suggestions that he was Abyssinian. The name Yaqut, 'ruby', was a common one for slaves, and he is supposed to have been brought as a slave (possibly also converting to Islam) to Baghdad in his youth in the service of the last Abbasid caliph, al-Musta'sim billah (whence his epithet). He was official secretary (katib al-diwan) there and managed to survive the sack of the city by the Mongols in 1258. He studied calligraphy with one of the masters of that period, Safi al-Din 'Abd al-Mu'min al-Urmawi (d. 1294), and also under Juwayni, becoming librarian of the famous Mustansiriyyah madrasa. He died in around AH 697/AD 1298. Yaqut was always spoken of for his mastery of the 'Six Pens', notably thuluth, and also for developing a new style of naskhi script by trimming the nib of his pen differently. He was said to have practiced calligraphy every day by copying two sections of the Qur'an, maintaining this practice (so legend had it) even during the Mongol siege, by hiding at the top of a minaret.

    The album is a mufradat, listing the letters of the Arabic alphabet for the purposes of calligraphic exercises, the letters being in combination or singly.
Contacts
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
A rare album of calligraphic exercises (Mufradat), by the famous scribe Yaqut al-Musta'simi Baghdad, late 13th Century, with illumination added in the 16th Century
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