Collection of Poems (Divan)

Nur al-Din `Abd al-Rahman ibn Ahmad Jami10th century AH/AD 16th century; Paintings: 11th century AH/AD 17th century

The Walters Art Museum
Baltimore, United States

Walters manuscript W.640 is an illuminated and illustrated Safavid copy of the first collection of poetry (Divan-i avval or Fatihat al-shabab) by Nur al-Din Jami (died 898 AH/AD 1492). According to the colophon, is was copied by the illustrious Safavid calligrapher Shah Mahmud Nishapuri (died 972 AH/AD 1564-1565) (fol. 306a). The codex opens with a double-page illustrated frontispiece (fols. 1b-2a), which is followed by a double-page illuminated incipit (fols. 2b-3a). There are10 additional paintings that appear to date later than the text itself. These paintings are in the style of Isfahan in the 11th century AH/AD 17th. The textblock, which has been trimmed, is bound in lacquer boards decorated with hunting scenes and landscape motifs. The binding was also executed in Iran and is attributable to the late 10th century AH/AD 16th or 11th century AH/AD 17th. There are several erased seals and one ownership statement on fol. 1a, and a seal impression naming Muhammad Amin is found on fol. 3a.

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  • Title: Collection of Poems (Divan)
  • Date Created: 10th century AH/AD 16th century; Paintings: 11th century AH/AD 17th century
  • Physical Dimensions: w16.5 x h27 cm
  • Type: illuminated manuscripts
  • Rights: Acquired by Henry Walters
  • External Link: The Walters Art Museum
  • Medium: ink and pigments on laid paper with gold-sprinkled margins bound between boards covered with lacquer
  • Provenance: Muhammad Amin [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [seal impression with the name Muhammad Amin on fol. 3a]; Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
  • Place of Origin: Iran
  • ExhibitionHistory: Splendor in Books. Grolier Club, New York; The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1977-1978; Illuminated Manuscripts: Masterpieces in Miniature. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984-1985
  • Author: Nur al-Din `Abd al-Rahman ibn Ahmad Jami