Page of Calligraphy from an Anthology of Poetry by Sa`di and Hafiz
Hafiz (probably 1325/6–90)
Sultan `Ali Mashhadi (ca.1440–1520)
Folio from a non-illustrated manuscript
late 15th century
Attributed to present-day Afghanistan, Herat
Ink, opaque watercolor, silver, and gold on paper
11 7/8 x 7 5/8in. (30.2 x 19.4cm)
Frederick C. Hewitt Fund, 1911
Not on view
This folio, copied by Sultan 'Ali Mashhadi—a renowned master of nasta'liq script—once formed part of an anthology of Persian poetry including selections from the works of Sa'di and Hafiz. It was common practice for valuable manuscripts to be remounted within new margins whether for aesthetic or preservation reasons. The folios of this highly treasured fifteenth‑century manuscript were remounted in the sixteenth century within colored margin papers beautifully painted with diverse scenes in silver and gold.
Ph. Walter Schulz, Leipzig (in 1910); [ Gustav Crayen, until 1911; sold to MMA]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Perfect Page: The Art of Embellishment in Islamic Book Design," May 17, 1991–August 18, 1991, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Sultan Ali of Mashhad, Master of Nasta'liq," January 19, 2001–May 27, 2001, no catalogue.
Sarre, F., H. R. Martin, and Moriz Dreger. Meisterwerke muhammedanischer Kunst auf der Ausstellung München, 1910: Teppiche, Waffen, Miniaturen, Buchkunst, Keramik, Glas und Kristall, Stein- Holz-und Elfenbeinarbeiten, Stoffe, Metall, Verschiedenes. Munich: Bruckmann, 1912. no. 687, ill. pl. 31.
Schulz, Ph. Walter. Die Persisch-Islamische Miniaturmalerei. Vol. vols. I, II. Leipzig: Hiersemann, 1914. pp. 104-105, 164-165.
Haidar, Navina. "Visual Splendour: Embellished Pages from the Metropolitan Museum 's Collection of Islamic and Indian Manuscripts." Arts of Asia vol. 42 (2012). pp. 109-110, ill. fig. 4 (color).