Page of Calligraphy in Ornamental Style

Artist: Malik Muhammad Qazvini (Iranian, 1800–1899)

Object Name: Non-illustrated album leaf

Date: dated A.H. 1285/A.D. 1868–69

Geography: Iran

Culture: Islamic

Medium: Ink on paper

Dimensions: Inside black frame line:
H. 5 in. (12.5 cm)
W. 7 3/4 in. (19.8 cm)

Classification: Codices

Credit Line: Purchase, Elizabeth S. Ettinghausen Gift, in memory of Richard Ettinghausen, 1998

Accession Number: 1998.268


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 scribe, Malik Muhammad Qazvini, wrote this calligraphy for an honored friend called Mirza Musa. The style he employs is a characteristically nineteenth-century adaptation of medieval floriated kufic, in which floral terminals and dotted outlines embellish each letter. Three areas of shikasta calligraphy containing the artist's name and a date of A.H. 1285/ A.D 1868–69 are seen under the main calligraphic panel, along with the artist's seal.