Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Binding for the Mantiq al-tayr (Language of the Birds)

Author:
Farid al-Din `Attar (ca. 1142–1220)
Object Name:
Bookbinding
Date:
ca. 1600
Geography:
Made in Iran, Isfahan
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Leather, gold, and color; carved, impressed, and gilded
Dimensions:
13 x 8 1/2 in. (33 x 21.6 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1963
Accession Number:
63.210.67
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455
This is an elaborate example of the most common type of Safavid binding. Based on the Timurid-style binding, it contains a central medallion, quadrants, and a border of panels. The field pattern was created by stamping a mold on the surface of the cover made of leather and paper; first the upper half of the binding was stamped and then the mold was reversed to stamp on the lower half. The border pattern was also created by stamping. The doublures are decorated with delicate leather filigree work dividing compartments with orange, brown, blue, and green ground.
Shah Abbas I, Isfahan, Iran (ca. 1600–1608; presented to Ardebil Shrine); Ardebil Shrine, Iran (ca. 1608–sack of Ardebil, 1826); M. Farid Parbanta(until 1963; sale, Sotheby's, London,December 9, 1963, no. 111, to MMA)
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Page of Calligraphy from a Mantiq al-tair (Language of the Birds)

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"A Ruffian Spares the Life of a Poor Man", Folio 4v from a Mantiq al-tair (Language of the Birds)

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Folio from a Mantiq al-tair (Language of the Birds)

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"Shaikh San'an and the Christian Maiden", Folio 22v from a Mantiq al-Tair (Language of the Birds)

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