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Identification and Creation
Object Number
One of three pages from an album of calligraphy
Work Type
album folio
18th-19th century
Creation Place: Middle East, Turkey
Ottoman period
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Ink and gold on paper
24.8 x 15.2 cm (9 3/4 x 6 in.)
[Sotheby Parke Bernet Inc., New York, 15 June 1979, lot 170], sold; to Edwin Binney, 3rd, California (1979-1986), bequest; to the Harvard Art Museums, 2012.

Stored at the San Diego Museum of Art from some time before 1986 until 1991, then at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from 1991-2011.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, The Edwin Binney, 3rd Collection of Turkish Art at the Harvard Art Museums
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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This is one of three pages from an album of calligraphy written in naskh and thuluth scripts in horizontal format. The other sides of the original folios were most likely removed to be sold separately. Calligraphic works written in horizontal format with a combination of two (large and small) scripts on the same page, possibly to be included in albums, were typical for Ottoman calligraphers, especially after Hafiz Osman in the 17th century. It became a standard for Ottoman calligraphers to write kit’as (rectangular calligraphic work generally using two scripts) and receive icazet (certificate of competence and permission to teach calligraphy to others) from their masters directly on that page. We do not know the name of the scribe who created this or the other two folios. The texts are various examples of Arabic hadith (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad). The text on this folio contains a section from hadith 7619 from Sahih Muslim‘s Book 56: “Look at those who stand at a lower level than you but don't look at those who stand at a higher level than you, for this would make the favors insignificant”. The frames on either side of the smaller script were usually reserved for illumination. Here no illumination is applied and the emphasis has been just on the calligraphy itself. There is a thin strip of yellow colored paper serving as a frame around the calligraphy. A second thicker strip of paper in orange/tan color surrounds the inner one.

Publication History

Fine Oriental Miniatures, Manuscripts, Islamic Works of Art and 19th Century Paintings, Friday, June, 15, 1979, auct. cat. (New York, 1979)

Related Works

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