757. [Persian manuscript - Hâfez Shirâzi]
Written in fluent and well-readable nastaʿliq script. Glazed paper, 14,5 x 9 cm, [4 bl.]-234-[5 bl.] ff., 12 ll. a page.
Lacquer binding, with on the outside a large teardropped shaped palm motif (s.c. bote) in green, decorated with flowers, on a flowery background within borders; on the inside a similar but slenderer bote motif, encircled by leaves, against an orange background and a flowery border. Good condition.
Fine illuminated manuscript, of Indian provenance, of the complete Diwân (= lyrical works), of the most famous Persian poet, Hâfez Shirâzi (1325 -1390). The manuscript contains, ff. 1b-223a, ghazals (love poems, no longer than twelve verses), in alphabetical order according to their rhyme, the first one beginning “Ho, cupbearer, circulate the cup and offer it!/Love seemed easy at first, but then difficulties arose!”; ff. 223a-224a, 224a-225b, 225b-226a, three poems in rhymed couplets (mathnawī), including a sâqi-nāma (book of the cupbearer) and a moghanni-nâma (book of the singer) in which “a speaker, seeking relief from his hardships, losses, and disappointments, repeatedly summons the sāqi or cupbearer to bring him wine and the moḡanni or singer to provide a song” (see Encyclopaedia Iranica, s.v.sāqī-nāma); ff. 226a-230b, moqattaʿât (fragments); ff. 230b-234b, a series of quatrains (robāʿīyāt).
Illustration: On ff. 1a-2b a beautifully executed double-page frontispiece in gold, red and blue encircling the first poem. Except for these two pages the half lines of the poems are in two columns, separated by a line decorated in blue and gold and encircled by a double frame (s.c. jadwal), one in red, gold and green, one in blue. The last verse of every poem, which includes the poet’s takhallos (pen name), is centred and flanked by small gold and red vignettes. On ff. 77a, 87a and 224b one or two verses are written diagonally in the middle of the page, around an extra red or blue vignette. Twelve miniatures, on ff. 28a, 32b, 42a, 50a, 61b, 69a, 77b, 87b, 91a, 125a, 174b, 203a, reflect the scenes sketched in the poems, but put in an Indian setting, the women, for instance, wearing sarees. Often a word in the line which precedes the miniature is taken as a cue for the illustration. For instance, f. 87b, after a line in which a mirror is mentioned, a woman holding a mirror is depicted; or, f. 203a, after a line in which the beloved is urged to become as "mad" as Majnun if he wants to attain his beloved Lailâ, the miniature depicts this famous couple of lovers sitting together in the desert, surrounded by animals.
Prov. In pencil on flyleaf: "Vente de Henricourt (n. 67)". - Loosely inserted is a bookpl. of the family Henricourt.
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