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[the Flower Garden], signed by Akbar Muhammad Mashhadi.

Stock Code
Timurid Persia, 1490

An early illustrated copy of this important piece of Persian literature by Sheikh Sa'adi (d. 1291) of Shiraz, a medieval poet known for his mastery of the classical literary tradition. The Gulestan is a collection of literary anecdotes in prose and poetic verse, relaying personal reflections, advice and humorous interactions, often demonstrating a profound sense of social awareness and moral wisdom on human nature.

Little is known on the life of the scribe, Akbar Muhammad Mashhadi, however the calligraphy and style of manuscript production are very much in keeping with contemporary master scribe Sultan Ali Mashhadi (Muhammad Nur), suggesting they may have worked in similar circles. For a comparable Timurid example of Sa'adi's work see The Sarikhani collection's Divan of Sa'adi, dated 1456 (featured in Epic Iran, V&A publishing, London, 2021, item 151, pp. 200).

The four illustrations included are of the following scenes the wrestling master is challenged by his

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Illuminated manuscript on paper, in Farsi, 146 leaves forming a substantial section (many leaves mounted on stubs, mis-bound and re-sewn), 238 by 160 mm.; in double-column format with an additional column diagonally inscribed along the outer edges of each leaf (forming six columns per double-page spread), 17 lines fine black nasa'liq script, illuminated headpiece opening the text plus an additional illuminated banner in the text, these with script in white eastern kufic set against decorative designs of blue and gild foliate patterns, 'Hikayat' and similar section headings throughout in gold set against spiralling vines, four contemporary illustrations in the text, these heightened in gold; one leaf replaced in manuscript facsimile copied in similar style, many outer margins repaired (rarely affecting text), some erroneous foliation in ink and pencil to outer corners of leaves, some light rubbing and surface soiling; late eighteenth-century leather boards with medallion detail to covers, lightly rubbed and rebacked


Stock ID:103489

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