front cover Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Unknown Artist
Calligraphy attributed to Mir Ali al Husayni (flourished 1514-43)
Mahmud 'Arifi of Herat (died 1449)
Manuscript of the Guy u Chawgan (The Ball and the Polo Stick ) of `Arifi
Other Titles
Alternate Title: Also known as the Halnamah
Work Type
Creation Place: Central Asia, Afghanistan, Herat
Safavid period
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Paintings with text; ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper, with red and gold leather binding
22.9 x 15.3 cm (9 x 6 in.)
page: 22.7 x 15 cm (8 15/16 x 5 7/8 in.)
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of John Goelet, formerly in the collection of Louis J. Cartier
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request.
Copied in Persian, in nasta’liq script, by [Mir] Ali al-Husayni [of Herat] (flourished 1514-43); includes double-page sarlawh (illuminated frontispiece); two detached illustrated folios have been framed separately.
Publication History

F.R. Martin, The Miniature Painting and Painters of Persia, India and Turkey, from the 8th to the 18th century, B. Quaritch (London, England, 1912), vol. 1, p. 52, fig. 27

Georges Marteau and Henri Vever, Miniatures persanes; tirées des collections de MM. Henry d'Allemagne, Claude Anet, Henri exposées au Musée des arts décoratifs, juin -- octobre 1912., exh. cat., Bibliothèque d'art et d'archéologie (Paris, 1913), vol. 1, pl. LXVIII

Basil William Robinson, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Persian Paintings in the Bodleian Library, The Clarendon Press (Oxford, 1958), p. 85

Laurence Binyon, J. V. S. Wilkinson, and Basil Gray, Persian Miniature Painting, Dover Publications Inc. (New York, 1971), no. 105, pl. LXXVIII-B

Marianna Shreve Simpson, Arab and Persian Painting in the Fogg Art Museum, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1980), pp. 13, 50, 54-55, no. 15, ill.

Michele de Angelis and Thomas W. Lentz, Architecture in Islamic Painting: Permanent and Impermanent Worlds, brochure, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, Mass, 1982)

Exhibition History

Geometry of the Spirit: Islamic Illumination and Calligraphy, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 04/30/1988 - 06/26/1988

The Ottomans and their Contemporaries, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 03/21/1992 - 05/17/1992

Earthly Paradise: Gardens in Islamic Art, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/08/1993 - 08/22/1993

Calligraphy and the Arts of the Book, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/25/1993 - 01/30/1994

Shadows of God On Earth: Arts of the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Dynasties, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 06/21/1997 - 08/31/1997

Related Works

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at