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Identification and Creation
Object Number
2002.50.24
Title
Illuminated folio from an unidentified manuscript
Classification
Manuscripts
Work Type
manuscript folio
Date
16th century
Places
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran
Period
Safavid period
Culture
Persian
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/97425
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Black ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on beige paper
Dimensions
26.5 x 14.6 cm (10 7/16 x 5 3/4 in.)
Provenance
Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood, Belmont, MA (by 1998-2002), gift; to Harvard Art Museums, 2002.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art
Accession Year
2002
Object Number
2002.50.24
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
This page features a shamsa (sun), an illuminated medallion in which the title of a book or chapter was often inscribed. This shamsa is composed of abstract and floral forms in gold and blue surrounding a plain gold circular center, which has been repainted. An underlying inscription is detectable via X-ray, but unfortunately only one word can be read: as?abi (lords or possessors).

Repainting aside, the shamsa is executed with delicate brushwork and careful attention to detail. Balanced and symmetrical in composition and palette, it compares well with other illumination produced in Central Asia and Iran during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Published Catalogue Text: In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art , written 2013
103

Illuminated folio from an unidentified manuscript
Recto: blank except for later inscriptions, now illegibly blurred
Verso: shamsa
Iran or Central Asia, Safavid or Shaybanid period, 16th–17th century
Black ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on beige paper
Folio: 26.5 × 14.6 cm (10 7/16 × 5 3/4 in.)
2002.50.24

This page features a shamsa (sun), an illuminated medallion in which the title of a book or chapter was often inscribed. This shamsa is composed of abstract and floral forms in gold and blue surrounding a plain gold circular center, which has been repainted. An underlying inscription is detectable via X-ray, but unfortunately only one word can be read: asḥabi (lords or possessors).

Repainting aside, the shamsa is executed with delicate brushwork and careful attention to detail. Balanced and symmetrical in composition and palette, it compares well with other illumination produced in Central Asia and Iran during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Mika M. Natif

Publication History

Mary McWilliams, ed., In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2013), p. 242, cat. 103, ill.

Exhibition History

In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/31/2013 - 06/01/2013

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 am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu