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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Bookbinding (Jild-i kitab)

Object Name:
19th century
Attributed to Iran
Pasteboard; painted and lacquered
H. 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm) W. 6 1/4 in. (15.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891
Accession Number:
Not on view
Inscription: A Persian love poem written in elegan thuluth, in blue cartouches with white lettering around the outside edges of both sides of the cover:

O beloved, thousands of praises
For your soul, from head to foot;
The artist, God..., existence
He brought forth from non-existence

A sun on a walking cypress
Has never been seen in the world;
It does not come into description and explanation;
Your name does not fit into the pen.

I said: "Perhaps you are a peacock,
Limb upn limb like feathers."
(page 2):
I see you as sugarcane,
Sweetness from head to foot.

For a moment open your glance,
Be as coquettish as you want,
And then begin with (?)
Like kings on my cheek.

Trans. by Annemarie Schimmel, 9/85
The last four lines are repeated to fill the space. the word atab in the penultimate line makes no sens, and similar looking words do not either.

The form is popular: abab xxxb yyyb, as in folksongs, and the meter is likewise very simple. (Annemarie Schimmel, 9/85)
Edward C. Moore (American, New York 1827–1891 New York), New York (until d. 1891; bequeathed to MMA)
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