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Iran Zamin

In light of the upcoming Nowruz celebrations marking the year 1400 of the Shamsi solar calendar and the launch of the much anticipated ‘Epic Iran’ exhibition of Persian art at the V&A Museum, Shapero Rare Books are celebrating Persiana with Iran Zamin.

Featuring twenty-five books and manuscripts spanning almost 800 years of history, presented chronologically, this catalogue begins with a manuscript leaf from Ilkhanid territories of 13th-century Persia and ends in present day Iran with an exquisite panel of calligraphy by a living artist. There are illustrated poetic treatises featuring the most revered Persian poets, including Sa’di, Nizami and Ferdowsi, alongside Qur’anic texts and important travel books from the region.

Iran Zamin (the land of Iran) also marks the launch of our new department dedicated to Islamic and Near Eastern books, manuscripts and miniatures headed by our resident Iranian, Roxana Kashani. We are delighted to welcome her to the team here at Shapero Rare Books and look forward to broadening our existing collections with her expertise.

To view the catalogue as a PDF, click here.

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  1. Illuminated manuscript on thick Shirazi paper, 6 books in one volume, in Farsi, 324 leaves (including a front and final free endpaper), 325 by 215 mm.; four columns, 21 lines elegant black nasta'liq with some headings and sections in red, six illuminated polychrome headings opening each of the books, each featuring bold colours and arabesque designs, text blocks ruled in red, turquoise and blue, catch-words throughout, some very light marginal water-staining, a few preliminary leaves skilfully re-margined, a few small repairs elsewhere, spine cracked with a few leaves and gatherings becoming loose, overall very bright and attractive volume; housed in eighteenth-century dark brown morocco over pasteboards, ruled in gilt with cut-out medallions to covers , decorated with gilt filigree detailing against a peach-coloured backdrop, rebacked, edges a little rubbed, preserved in leather-backed box contemporary to binding, lightly rubbed.

  2. Illuminated manuscript on paper, in Arabic, containing the first 7 aya of the first surah of the Qur'an (al-Fatihah 1:1 - 1:7), 490 by 380 mm.; single column, 5 lines large scribal nasta'liq diagonally inscribed, outlined in cloud shapes and set against an elaborately illuminated gold background decorated with intricately illustrated spiralling floral patterns with polychrome colour additions, lower right-hand corner containing the scribe's name and date of completion, panel framed within multiple polychrome and gilt rulings, including a banner formed of multiple gold cartouches in Safavid style of illumination; very clean and bright condition; leaf mounted to thick card.

  3. Illuminated manuscript on paper, in Farsi, part four only (of seven), 322 leaves (plus one later endleaf at the rear), 375 by 235 mm; single column, 21 lines black naskh, significant words and sentences in red, illuminated headpiece in polychrome and gold opening the text, leaves ruled in turquoise, red and gold, some of this ruling oxidised causing closed tears (some of these repaired), a few marginal repairs to preliminary and penultimate leaves, some scattered spots, overall presentable example; housed in contemporary brown morocco with stamped central medallions and corner-pieces of gilt leather inlay, rebacked, doublures of brown morocco with central medallions and corner-pieces decorated with gilt filigree and coloured backgrounds, a little worn.

  4. Illuminated manuscript formed of multiple calligraphic panels pasted to thick card, in Arabic and Farsi, total leaf 370 by 245 mm. (recto panel 285 by 195 mm. and verso 250 by 175 mm.); recto formed of a large central panel of fine nasta'liq formed of three couplets, this framed by two panels of large thuluth on either side and a further two panels above and below in an elegant reyhani script (verging on muhaqqaq), the outer corners are further decorated by four diagonally placed cartouches of nasta'liq (in two different hands), the verso is formed of a large central panel of fine nasta'liq formed of two rhyming couplets framed within two corner-pieces illustrated in fine Safavid-style gilt polychrome devices and copied on paper adorned in sections of gold leaf, framed within a multiple ruled border formed of 12 cartouches of nasta'liq (6 of these single lines on cream paper and the other 6 formed of 2 lines on white paper), both sides of album leaf elegantly arranged with gilt borders separating different panels and wider ruled borders of green and aubergine coloured paper, some light surface soiling and small chips to wider margins, overall very attractive condition.

  5. First edition, 8vo, [ii], x, [10]-484, [ii (errata and ads)] pp., text in double columns, Persian and Roman character, old ownership inscription to first blank, rebound in later cloth over marbled boards, paper label. [Bound with] A few Words to the judicious Voters of Pennsylvania, [1854], 39 pp.

  6. First London edition, 4to, xiii, [iii], 329 pp., engraved frontispiece, engraved plate, spotting to final four leaves, contemporary green half calf over cloth sides, joints repaired, label defective, a very good copy.

  7. 8vo, [6], 163, [1]; 146, [16]pp., engraved portrait, folding map, later full polished calf gilt, covers ruled in gilt and blind, flat spine with geometric gilt panels, red morocco label, a very good copy.

  8. Second Amsterdam edition. Folio (35 x 22 cm). Title, [6], 472, [12] pp. index and instructions to binder, with engraved allegorical title after B. Picart, engraved portrait plate, 11 folding, 55 double-page and 40 full-page engraved plates with 260 numbered subjects and 36 engravings in text; neat marginal repair to portrait. Early twentieth century half morocco over marbled boards, flat spine ruled and lettered in gilt; rubbed, upper spine slightly chipped.

  9. Limited edition: number 33 of 500 copies; folio (39 x 29 cm). Suite of 50 colour plates with 'Croquis de route et notes de voyages' in a separate volume. Original card folder; some light soiling and spotting.

  10. With 85 engravings on 64 sheets (9 folding), including portrait of Chardin, 18 sheets with double-illustrations and 1 sheet with 4, with additional large folding map of Asia with outline coloured by hand by P. Lapie, 1810, engraved by Blondeau, all protected with original tissue guards. Recent half-calf over marbled boards.

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