An illustrated masnavi by Rumi, with a remarkably complex history of composition

(downloaded Sept. 2004)

PROBABLY INDIA, 17TH CENTURY WITH LATER ILLUSTRATIONS. Persian poetic manuscript, 572ff. with 16 illustrations, 15ll. of small black nasta'liq in two columns with further text written diagonally, with gold and red rules and further marginal notes in black and red, illuminated headings at the beginning of each poem, later double-page illustrations in gouache heightened with gold painted in the Safavid style, with illuminated borders, late Safavid Iranian black Morocco binding without flap, with stamped gold decoration of birds in trees, doublures with inlaid polychrome panels of lion bringing down deer within cental cartouche. 10¼ x 5½in. (26 x 14cm.)

Lot Notes: Sections are dated between rabi' al-awwal and dhi'l-hajja, 1068/December, 1657-September, 1658.

The preface states that the following mathnavi was put together after having consulted over 80 other manuscripts. The work originally started in Ahan Push of Afghanistan in 1024/1615-16, followed by the second attempt in 1025/1616-17 in Peshawar, and the third attempt 1031/1621-22 in Burhanpur. The preface includes the name of the author and the scribe as : 'Abd al-Latif ibn 'Abdullah al-'Abbas, who gives the date of completion in abjad equalling 1032/1622-3.

The author of the preface and the scribe is not recorded."

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