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Marriage Contract

Abu'l Qasim Farhang ibn Vesal
Object Name:
Non-illustrated manuscript
dated A.H. 1291/ A.D. 1874
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
10 3/8 x 5 5/8in. (26.3 x 14.3cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Charles K. Wilkinson, 1979
Accession Number:
Not on view
This marriage contract is signed by Abu'l Qasem Farhang ibn al-Vesal (1826–1890), son of the famous Muhammad Shafi, known as Vesal of Shiraz (1779–1846). Like his father and brothers, he was an accomplished poet and calligrapher, specializing in the naskhi, shikasta, and nasta'liq scripts. This document shows his skill with two other types of script. The passage from the Qur'an at the beginning of the contract is in revival naskh while the body of the text is in riqa. As was typical for the nineteenth century, the scribe used a number of different colored inks, including black, red, green, and purple. The first page is also ornately illuminated with a central panel and borders of floral decoration.
Signature: In Persian: 'And that on the eighteenth of the great month of Sha`ban of the months of the year one-and-ninety-and two-hundred-after-the thousand, 1291 [October 1, 1874], and the attending witness-scribe to it in the sitting is the smallest servant Abu'l Qasim Farhang ibn al-Vesal, may God elevate his [al-Vesal's] station.'
Charles K. Wilkinson, Sharon, CT (until 1979; gifted to MMA)
Behrens-Abouseif, Doris, and Stephen Vernoit, ed. "Tradition, Innovation and Eclecticism." In Islamic Art in the 19th Century. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2006. p. 276, ill. fig. 8 (color).

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