Poetry, calligraphic exercises, and headings have been pasted onto both sides of this folio. The text, which was written in several different hands, includes nasta’liq, ta’liq shikasta, muhaqqaq, and thuluth scripts. A poem written diagonally by the calligrapher Sultan Muhammad Nur uses religious imagery to describe the beauty of the beloved, and the large writing to the left of the poem is a calligraphic exercise in which the letter shin is repeated several times.
Inscription: In Persian?, on recto (verify): "Whosoever sees the Sura-i Fateha of your face Recites: 'Say, God is one!' and blows with sincerity Khidr said: 'God made a fine plant spout', and passed by The moment he saw the greenery around your lip. 'May God increase your beauty!' How can one say that? For there is no possibility of increase in your beauty."
(Trans. Annemarie Schimmel, February 1986)
Philip Hofer, Cambridge, MA (until 1982; sold to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Sultan Ali of Mashhad, Master of Nasta'liq," January 19, 2001–May 27, 2001, no catalogue.
Schimmel, Annemarie. "Islamic Calligraphy." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., vol. 50, no. 1 (Summer 1992). pp. 42, 44, ill. fig. 53 (color).