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: Country of Origin Iran

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 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.