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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Text folio (text recto, text verso of folio 34), from a manuscript of the Munsha’at by Sharaf Munshi
Other Titles
Series/Book Title: Manuscript of the Munsha’at (Letters) by Sharaf Munshi
Work Type
manuscript folio
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran
Timurid period
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Ink, colors, and gold on paper
16 x 25.5 cm


Recorded Ownership History
Ezzat-Malek Soudavar, Geneva, Switzerland (by 2014), by descent; to her son Abolala Soudavar, Houston, Texas (2014), loan; to Harvard Art Museums, 2015.

Ezzat-Malek Soudavar (1913-2014) formed this collection over a period of sixty years. She purchased the works of art on the international art market.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Loan from A. Soudavar in memory of his mother Ezzat-Malek Soudavar
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art

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The text is copied in ta‘liq script, arranged in six horizontal lines and three diagonal ones at the bottom, on each page.
The frontispiece is decorated with floral and cloud bands in gold, light blue and dark red, which were added to the text later.
The text on f. 3v, also in taliq but probably contemporary with the illuminations, is in a different ink and on different paper, stating that this manuscript of 31 folios contains the letters of Afzal al-Din Munshi with the pen name Sharaf, a contemporary of Sultan Husayn Bayqara, and is written in the hand the master of calligraphy Khwaja Ikhtiyar al-Din Munshi. Each of the folios is a precious piece on its own right and could serve as a model for calligraphy masters.
The final folio gives the date 896/1486 and carries the same type of illuminations. The manuscript is rebound later in a red velvet binding adorned with stamped pendants, centre and corner pieces in a frame. The doublures are plain white paper.
An acquisition note on f. 1r states that the manuscript entered the library of Lutf ‘Ali b. Muhammad Kazim in Safar 1313/July-August 1895. He was known as Sadr al-Afazil Nasiri Amini (1852-1931) and was a scholar, a poet and owner of a large collection of precious manuscripts.

Related Works

Verification Level

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