Flap from a Book-cover

Location: Isfahan, Iran

Materials: papier-mâché board, painted and varnished; plain red leather spine and doublure

Dimensions: 26.5 x 8.3cm

Accession Number: LAQ 513

Other Notes:

A little stream runs through a scene set with a tree, plants and clouds, all outlined in gold on a wine-red background. Above the stream stands a youth clasping a blue-and-white wine jug, and below it a young dervish is seated with an open book and a gourd bottle before him. The book bears an Arabic inscription, ‘There is nothing worse for human beings than the consumption of more food once one has eaten.’ The black and gold border contains panels with more Arabic inscriptions in elegant nasta‘liq script, including, along the bottom, ‘Knowledge comes in two forms: the knowledge of bodies and the knowledge of religions’, and, along the top, ‘All medical skill lies in addressing the two causes of distress...’. It seems from these that the flap was once attached to a medical manuscript.


N.D. Khalili, B.W. Robinson & T. Stanley, Lacquer of the Islamic Lands, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume XXII, Part One, London 1996, cat.9, p.31.