Printed Books, Maps & Documents
12 December 2018
Khaqani (Afdal al-Din al-Shirwani al-, 1127-1187/7 or 1195 CE).
Estimate: £700 - £1,000
Sold For: £800
Tuhfat al-'Iraqayn ['The Gift of the Two Iraqs'], Safavid Iran: colophon signed Muhammad Amin al-Qurashi, [circa 1600],
Persian manuscript in black ink on glazed laid paper, 151 leaves + 3 blanks (folio 1 recto also blank), 11 lines of nasta'liq script to the page, divided into hemistiches, and set within gilt and blue frames throughout, headings in red, catch-words, incipit page (folio 1 verso) with illuminated headpiece incorporating penwork vegetal motifs and the text set within cloudbands on gilt ground; folio 1 laid down with small portion of text in skilful facsimile, sympathetic paper restoration to margins of outer leaves (just touching frames of final 13 leaves, the lost portions restored in facsimile), 3 further leaves towards rear with paper restoration in the text obscuring a few words; contemporary green morocco binding, floral filigree decoration to both sides enclosed by a blind frame composed of buta motifs, 12mo (12.7 x 7.5 cm), housed in 19th-century pink silk satchel with embroidered leaf-spray lining and decorative tie, the tie with attached tag annotated in a 19th-century hand 'Extracts from the Qran [sic] found in Ayub Khan's sleeping tent in his private camp at Muzra immediately after he had gone out' (see note)
Khaqani was a major Persian author active in the 12th century CE. His Tuhfat al-'Iraqayn, a long narrative poem in mathnawi form, is considered 'one of the most eminent examples of sophisticated use of ornament in the whole of classical Persian literature' (Encyclopaedia Iranica). Most of its verses are addressed to the Sun, whom Khaqani commands to undertake a voyage from Shirvan to Mecca on his behalf. Provenance: apparently found in the tent of Ayub Khan, emir of Afghanistan (1857-1914), at 'Muzra' (i.e. Mazra'ah) after the Battle of Kandahar in 1880, the decisive engagement of the Second Afghan War (manuscript note attached to the satchel accompanying the manuscript); later in the collection of Sir Eustace Dixon Borrowes, 11th Baronet (1866-1939; listed in typescript document titled 'Papers, Deeds, Books, etc., The Property of Sir Eustace Dixon Borrowes Bart., 1924', photocopy supplied); thence by descent to the present owner. Sir Kildare Borrowes, 10th Baronet (1852-1924) was an officer in the 11th Hussars, one of the 31 cavalry regiments deployed during the Second Afghan War, so the manuscript may have been originally obtained by him.