Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Page of Calligraphy in Ornamental Style

Malik Muhammad Qazvini (Iranian, 1800–1899)
Object Name:
Non-illustrated album leaf
dated A.H. 1285/A.D. 1868–69
Country of Origin Iran
Ink on paper
Inside black frame line: H. 5 in. (12.5 cm) W. 7 3/4 in. (19.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Elizabeth S. Ettinghausen Gift, in memory of Richard Ettinghausen, 1998
Accession Number:
Not on view
This bold and ornate sample of calligraphy invokes blessings on the Prophet Muhammad ("Peace be upon you, Oh Muhammad, servant of God"), placing the words of the upper line between the tall vertical shafts of the lower line. The calligrapher, Malik Muhammad Qazvini, penned this piece for an honored friend, Mirza Musa. The style is a nineteenth-century adaptation of medieval floriated kufic, in which floral terminals and dotted outlines embellish each letter. An inscription in three parts under the main panel in shikasta script contains the artist’s name and a date of A.H. 1285/A.D. 1868–69.
Signature: In shikasta script, by Malik Muhammad Qazvini who wrote this calligraphy for an honored friend called Mirza Musa.

Inscription: Arabic; translation of main inscription: "Peace be upon you, Oh Muhammad `Abdallah"; transliteration of main inscription: "as-salam `alaika ya muhammad `abdallah".

Marking: Seal impression of the scribe below the text, in Arabic; translation: "His [God's] servant, Malik Muhammad"; transliteration: "`abduhu Malik Muhammad".
[ Spink & Sons Ltd., London, until 1998; sold to MMA]
"Calligraphy and the Arts of Islam from the 8th to the 19th Century." In Paper, Parchment, Steel & Stone. London: Spink & Sons Ltd., 1998. no. 17, ill. (b/w).

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