Illustrated in the Indian style

Asir-e Esfahani (Shahristani), Mirza Jalal al-Din b. Mirza Mo'men. Diwan manuscript.

India, 19th century CE.

12mo (88 x 148 mm). 2 volumes. Indo-Persian manuscript on polished paper. 61 & 59 leaves. 9 lines of black nasta'liq within blue, red and gilt frames; margins tinted. Opening folios prettily illuminated in colours and gilt. A total of 18 beautiful full-page illuminations with tinted margins elaborately decorated in gilt. Contemporary quarter cloth over marbled boards. Coloured endpapers.


A very pretty two-volume manuscript collection of Shahristani's poetry, meticulously illustrated after the Indian fashion, as befits the writer's literary style. Asir-e Esfahani (Shahrestani) was an innovative Persian poet in 17th-century Safavid Iran who contributed greatly to shaping the so-called 'Hindi' or 'Indian' style of early modern Persian poetry. The form developed in the Safavid era when many poets, lacking the Shah's patronage, emigrated to India, where Persian poetry had flourished from Ghaznavid times. Indeed, Asir himself enjoyed the high esteem of Shah Abbas the Great (r. 1588-1629), whose son-in-law he was, and his home served as a centre of Isfahan's lively literary scene. While Asir did not personally visit India, his works were well received there. Collections of his poetry have been printed variously, but manuscript copies are rare.

Very appealingly preserved with a few insignificant paper flaws to margins and several ink annotations as well as pen illustrations (including one of a Persian kamancheh) on the flyleaves.

Stock Code: BN#61216