Abd al-Rahman Baba, Divan, Sufi poetry, in two books, commissioned by 'Abdallah Khan Barakza'i, copied by the scribe Mulla Vali, with 47 illustrations Kashmir, dated 4th Jumadi I, 1213/14th October 1798

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 7
Abd al-Rahman Baba, Divan, Sufi poetry, in two books, commissioned by 'Abdallah Khan Barakza'i, copied by the scribe Mulla Vali, with 47 illustrations
Kashmir, dated 4th Jumadi I, 1213/14th October 1798

Sold for £ 12,750 (US$ 15,928) inc. premium
Abd al-Rahman Baba, Divan, Sufi poetry, in two books, commissioned by 'Abdallah Khan Barakza'i, copied by the scribe Mulla Vali, with 47 illustrations
Kashmir, dated 4th Jumadi I, 1213/14th October 1798
Pashtu manuscript on paper, 229 leaves, 2 later flyleaves, 2 doublures of marbled paper at beginning and end, with interleaves, 9 lines to the page written in two columns in an Indian naskhi script in black ink, headings and significant verses written in red ink flanked by panels decorated with floral sprays on gold ground, interlinear and intercolumnar rules in gold, outer margins ruled in colours and gold, catchwords in outer margins, 47 miniatures and 2 illuminated headpieces in colours and gold, extensive colophon written in clear naskhi script in red ink followed by a chapter written horizontally and diagonally in nasta'liq script in alternating black and red ink, contemporary or early 19th Century floral lacquer binding, covers decorated with sprays of flowers and foliage including wild red roses and tulips in colours and some gold on a black ground, doublures decorated with a central Kashmiri floral bouquet on a red ground
210 x 145 mm.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Private Spanish collection: acquired by the seller's grandmother in the 1950s.

    'Abd al-Rahman was a celebrated Pashtu Sufi poet known as 'Abd al-Rahman Baba (1632–1706). His poetry is regarded very highly in Pashtu literature, and texts were in wide circulation by the early 18th Century. His tomb is in the outskirts of Peshawar. Other copies of this work are in the British Library, the Bodleian Library, Oxford, the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris.

    The illustrations are as follows, with a translation of the caption in italics:

    1. f.1v – f. 2r
    Two views of Nishat Gardens in Srinagar.
    The image of Nishat [Garden].

    2. f. 4r
    Commander (sardar) 'Abdullah Khan surrounded by courtiers.
    The image of the commander (sardar) 'Abdullah Khan (unidentified).

    3. f. 5v – f. 6r
    Two views of Nasim and Nishat Gardens in Srinagar.
    The image of Nasim Garden; The image of Nishat.

    4. f. 7v
    Illuminated headpiece marking the beginning of the first book.

    5. f. 9r
    Buraq, the horse of the Prophet Muhammad, ascending to Heaven surrounded by angels.
    The image of Buraq of His Holiness, may God bless Him [the Prophet].

    6. f. 11v
    The lovers Gol'idhar and Golrokhsar laid in a chamber surrounded by mourners.
    The image of the dying Gol'idhar and Golrokhsar [unidentified].

    7. f. 15r
    Encounter between Hatam [Ta'i], who was known for his generosity, and a miser.
    The image of Hatam and the miser. For another scene from the popular story of Hatam, see Bonhams, Islamic and Indian Art, 26th October 2020, lot 8.

    8. f. 19v
    Encounters between a learned man and a dragon, and an ignorant man and a learned man.
    The image of the learned and the dragon and the ignorant and the learned.

    9. f. 24r
    Two learned men seated with their companions on a garden terrace.
    The image of knowledgeable ones.

    10. f. 27r
    'Abd al-Rahman and his beloved within an ornate chamber.
    The image of 'Abd al-Rahman and the falcon (the falcon is just visible but seems to have been defaced).

    11. f. 30r
    The Prophets Jacob, Joseph and Job seated on a floral carpet on a garden terrace.
    The image of His Holiness Jacob and His Holiness Joseph and His Holiness Joh.

    12. f. 33r
    Ibrahim Adham with Majnun and Layla seated in the garden of a mausoleum.
    The image of Ibrahim Adham and Majnun and Layla (incident unknown).

    13. f. 36r
    An enthroned (Ghaznavid) Sultan Mahmud with his favourite Turkish slave Ayaz on a palace terrace.
    The image of His Majesty (Sultan) Mahmud and Ayaz.

    14. f. 41v
    Hazrat Mansur seated on a garden terrace with a crucified prisoner and a white serpent in the foreground (story unknown).
    The image of His Holiness Mansur and Dar and strangers and his friend and the snake.

    15. f. 48r
    The Emperor Aurangzeb seated on a palace terrace with his brother, Dara Shikoh, about to be put to death in the foreground.
    The image of Awrangzib and the murder of his brother.

    16. f. 51r
    Hazrat Ilyas and Hazrat Khizr seated beside a pond with 'Abd al-Rahman praying in the foreground (story unknown).
    The image of His Holiness Elias and His Holiness Khidr and 'Abd al-Rahman praying.

    17. f. 55v
    A diagram of the Holy Ka'ba.
    The image of the Noble Ka'ba.

    18. f. 58v
    An enthroned Kay Kavus with a peacock, a golden hoopoe and two other birds in the foreground (presumably the story told in Firdausi's Shahnama).
    The image of Kay Kavus and the peacock and the hoopoo and the golden bird.

    19. f. 63v
    An audience of Shah Jahan before Aurangzeb in a palace garden.
    The image of Shah Jahan and Awrangzib.

    20. f. 65r
    'Abd al-Rahman and friend entertained by two whirling Sufis with musicians in the foreground.
    The image of 'Abd al-Rahman and the friend and singing and dancing and the Sufis transported in an ecstasy of love.

    21. f. 70r
    An enthroned king with a beggar in the foreground (story unknown).
    The image of the king and the beggar.

    22. f. 73r
    A widow and her dead husband engulfed by flames in a sati ceremony watched by mourners.
    The image of Sati and fire and the dead and Hindus.

    23. f. 78v
    Mulla Khoshhal, Mulla Dawlat and Mulla Rahman seated on an ornate carpet in a landscape (story unknown).
    The image of Mulla Khoshhal and Mulla Dawlat and Mulla Rahman.

    24. f. 80v
    Noah watches his child drown in the sea (exact incident unknown).
    The image of His Holiness Noah and his drowning child.

    25. f. 83v
    Solomon's throne carried by divs, and lifted by birds in the sky.
    The image of His Holiness Solomon and the lifting of his throne, the birds ....

    26. f. 85r
    The story of the friend in the shade and the friend in the fire (unknown).
    The image of a friend in shade and a friend in fire - they are like this at this time.

    27. f. 96v
    The stories of Layla and Majnun, and of Shirin and Farhad (from Nizami's Khamsa).
    The image of Layla and Majnun and Shirin and Farhad.

    28. f. 100v
    A king leading his army in a hilly landscape.
    The image of the king and the army going behind him.

    29. f. 107v
    Zulaykha receiving the women of Egypt in a palace garden (from Jami's Yusuf va Zulaykha).
    The image of Zulaykha and the Egyptian women.

    30. f. 116v
    Ploughing the fields, planting the rice and performing ablution at sunrise.
    The image of the Sun rising, ablution and ploughing in the morning.

    31. f. 122r
    Illuminated headpiece marking the beginning of the second book.

    32. f. 130v
    Two Sufis singing accompanied by musicians playing the flute and tambourine on a terrace.
    The image of the Sufis and the musicians and flute and playing tambourine.

    33. f. 133v
    Joseph being beaten by his brothers in a rocky landscape (from Jami's Yusuf va Zulaykha, and the Bible).
    The image of His Holiness Joseph and his brothers and him, hitting.

    34. f. 135r
    A Hindu widow throws herself into the fire in a sati ceremony watched by mourners.
    The image of dying Hindu and his wife throwing herself in fire following him.

    35. f. 138r
    'Abd al-Rahman recounting stories about his travels in India and Khurasan.
    (No caption. The couplet in red mentions a traveller in India and Khurasan).

    36. f. 150r
    A king riding on a white horse and preceded by a trumpeter, with a prisoner on an ass in the foreground (story unknown).
    The image of the king and the trumpet before him, and one shaven person riding a donkey [?].

    37. f. 152r
    The lovers Hir and Ranja flanked by attendants within an ornate terrace (from a Punjabi romance).
    The image of Hir and Ranja who were lovers.

    38. f. 154v
    An encounter between Sultan Iskandar and an old man beside a palace wall (story unknown).
    The image of Sultan Iskandar and an old man.

    39. f. 156r
    Two seated lovers and their companions being entertained by musicians on a terrace.
    The image of lovers drinking and singing.

    40. f. 166v
    'Abd al-Rahman and prisoners in a garden.
    The image of 'Abd al-Rahman and the prisoners.

    41. f. 176v
    Shirin and Khusraw riding in a rocky landscape greeted by a shepherd (perhaps from Nizami's Khusraw and Shirin).
    The image of Shirin and Khusraw.

    42. f. 186v
    Khusraw and Shirin laying dead within a chamber with mourners in the garden (perhaps from Nizami's Khusraw and Shirin).
    The image of the dying Khusraw and Shirin.

    43. f. 193r
    An elephant carrying a nobleman in a hilly landscape.
    The image of the elephant which carries loads.

    44. f. 195r
    An amorous couple seated in a garden and flanked by attendants.
    The image of the friend and the lover in the garden above the pool.

    45. f. 198v
    Mansur being stoned to death in a rocky landscape (story unknown).
    The image of the knowledgeable one and Mansur being stoned.

    46. f. 208r
    Majnun and Layla depicted seated together in various houses (perhaps from Nizami's Layla and Majnun).
    The image of Majnun and Layla in [various] houses.


    47. f. 227v
    The King and the slave girl on a palace terrace.

    48. f. 228v–f. 229r
    Five circular diagrams with the name apple (sib) or jujube ('annab) written in the central roundel of each diagram, and with the names of various plants written in the radiating panels, followed by the names of 29 fruits.

    The main text end with a page of couplets written in red, mentioning the name Amin Khan, Governor of Kashmir (unidentified), the Amir, and 'me' (the scribe, or the poet) madly perambulating Kashmir.

    The colophon reads: 'The book of 'Abd al-Rahman was completed by the order of [...] 'Abdulah Khan Barakza'i, the son of the deceased Khodadad [...] in the land of Kashmir [...] by Mulla Vali on 4 Jumadi i, 1213 (14 October 1798)', followed by two couplets asking the reader to pray for the scribe and forgive his sins.

    The patron, his father and the scribe are not identified.

    There follow three pages in nasta'liq script in black and red ink, comprising texts in Persian, stories of kings who had many wives, excerpts from different texts. On the very last page, there is a Persian couplet by the author.
Contacts
Abd al-Rahman Baba, Divan, Sufi poetry, in two books, commissioned by 'Abdallah Khan Barakza'i, copied by the scribe Mulla Vali, with 47 illustrations Kashmir, dated 4th Jumadi I, 1213/14th October 1798
Abd al-Rahman Baba, Divan, Sufi poetry, in two books, commissioned by 'Abdallah Khan Barakza'i, copied by the scribe Mulla Vali, with 47 illustrations Kashmir, dated 4th Jumadi I, 1213/14th October 1798
Abd al-Rahman Baba, Divan, Sufi poetry, in two books, commissioned by 'Abdallah Khan Barakza'i, copied by the scribe Mulla Vali, with 47 illustrations Kashmir, dated 4th Jumadi I, 1213/14th October 1798
Abd al-Rahman Baba, Divan, Sufi poetry, in two books, commissioned by 'Abdallah Khan Barakza'i, copied by the scribe Mulla Vali, with 47 illustrations Kashmir, dated 4th Jumadi I, 1213/14th October 1798
Abd al-Rahman Baba, Divan, Sufi poetry, in two books, commissioned by 'Abdallah Khan Barakza'i, copied by the scribe Mulla Vali, with 47 illustrations Kashmir, dated 4th Jumadi I, 1213/14th October 1798
Abd al-Rahman Baba, Divan, Sufi poetry, in two books, commissioned by 'Abdallah Khan Barakza'i, copied by the scribe Mulla Vali, with 47 illustrations Kashmir, dated 4th Jumadi I, 1213/14th October 1798
Abd al-Rahman Baba, Divan, Sufi poetry, in two books, commissioned by 'Abdallah Khan Barakza'i, copied by the scribe Mulla Vali, with 47 illustrations Kashmir, dated 4th Jumadi I, 1213/14th October 1798
Abd al-Rahman Baba, Divan, Sufi poetry, in two books, commissioned by 'Abdallah Khan Barakza'i, copied by the scribe Mulla Vali, with 47 illustrations Kashmir, dated 4th Jumadi I, 1213/14th October 1798
Abd al-Rahman Baba, Divan, Sufi poetry, in two books, commissioned by 'Abdallah Khan Barakza'i, copied by the scribe Mulla Vali, with 47 illustrations Kashmir, dated 4th Jumadi I, 1213/14th October 1798
Abd al-Rahman Baba, Divan, Sufi poetry, in two books, commissioned by 'Abdallah Khan Barakza'i, copied by the scribe Mulla Vali, with 47 illustrations Kashmir, dated 4th Jumadi I, 1213/14th October 1798
Abd al-Rahman Baba, Divan, Sufi poetry, in two books, commissioned by 'Abdallah Khan Barakza'i, copied by the scribe Mulla Vali, with 47 illustrations Kashmir, dated 4th Jumadi I, 1213/14th October 1798
Abd al-Rahman Baba, Divan, Sufi poetry, in two books, commissioned by 'Abdallah Khan Barakza'i, copied by the scribe Mulla Vali, with 47 illustrations Kashmir, dated 4th Jumadi I, 1213/14th October 1798
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories, buyer's premium excluding Cars, Motorbikes, Wine, Whisky and Coin & Medal sales, will be as follows:

Buyer's Premium Rates
27.5% on the first £20,000 of the hammer price;
26% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £20,000 up to and including £700,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £700,000 up to and including £4,500,000;
and 14.5% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of £4,500,000.

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

For payment information please refer to the sale catalogue.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Lot symbols
Exempt from VAT

Zero rated for VAT, no VAT will be added to the Hammer Price or the Buyer's Premium.

App