Maḵzan-al asrār - 1-13

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Manuscript K2

Page size: 33.9 x 20.7 cm (after Sotheby's 2001)
Text area: 19.7 x 10.6 cm.
Text: written in nastaʿliq, four columns, 25 lines per full page


At the Sotheby sale of 2001 this manuscript consisted of 96 leaves with 9 paintings and two illuminated headpieces, apparently re-bound in a lacquer binding of later date. It was further noted that the pages were incomplete and possibly mis-bound,suggesting the existing pages may have been part of a larger production, possibly a complete Ḵamsa. The truncated manuscript appeared again unchanged at the Sothebys sale of 2006, but in 2015 six of the paintings appear as loose pages on the auction block of Sothebys. Obviously sometime between 2006 and 2015 the bound unit was broken up, and the pages sold individually or in lots.

9 paintings were identified in the Sotheby sales of 2001 and 2006. Altogether at the three Sothebys sales 7 have been illustrated an are shown herewith. The two remaining subjects have not been illustrated in print and/or on the web. There might also have been additional illustrations in the original complete volume. All of the knownn paintings, although unsigned, might be considered the work of Moʿin Moṣavver perhaps a collaboration with his workshop.

Six of the known paintings are presently in the Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, London, MSS 1220. The present location of the three remaining leaves is not known.

The Sothebys 2001 catalog states that it is dated 1069/1658 but does not cite where it is dated.

Sotheby's (London) Sale, 3 May 2001, Lot 47.
Sotheby's (London) Sale, 10 October 2006, Lot 34.
Sotheby's (London) Sale, 22 April 2015, Lots 113, 114, and 117.

Robert Eng
Last Updated: 22 December 2016 | Originally published: 22 December 2016

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