All Collections
Previous Next
Back to Collection

Binding of a Manuscript

MSS 773 | Shiraz, Iran | dated 1230 AH (1815 AD)

Print Download

Artwork Details

Title: Binding of a Manuscript

Date: dated 1230 AH (1815 AD)

Location: Shiraz, Iran

Materials: papier-mâché boards, painted and varnished

Dimensions: 20.3 x 12.1cm

Accession Number: MSS 773

Other Notes:

This binding is attached to a copy of the Yusuf and Zulaykha of Jami, copied by Sayyid ‘Ali al-Husayni on Wednesday 5 Shawwal 1234 (28 July 1819). The outer covers are painted with very fine designs of rose sprays and carnations on a coffee-brown ground, framed by a black border with gold flowers. They are signed, ‘painted by the most humble Muhammad Hadi’. The doublures are decorated with accomplished renditions of single iris plants on a red ground, and these too must be the work of the great master Muhammad Hadi.

The Shirazi painter Muhammad Hadi is best known from an account by an English official of the East India Company, Claudius James Rich, who met him in Shiraz on 10 September 1821. Rich wrote to his wife, ‘I have just had a visit from Mirza Mohammed Hadi, the most distinguished artist in Persia. I was endebted for this honour to his having heard that “anch’io son pittore”, and that I had praised some of his works. He was accompanied by a khan, and one or two of his choicest disciples. He enjoys the highest reputation here, and the Persians almost consider him in odour of sanctity. I found him an extremely polite, intelligent, gentlemanlike old man. He is full of the spirit of his art, and is passionately fond of flowers. This Iranian Van Huysum never works now; and it is almost impossible to procure a specimen of his pencil. They are bought up at any price by the Persians. He has not even preserved a specimen for himself, yet by great good fortune I have got one exquisite little painting of his for you’. Although Rich claimed that Muhammad Hadi had given up work, a pen box, signed by him and dated 1246 AH (1830–31 AD) has been recorded.


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.138, pp.190–91.

Related Artworks

Small Flask

JLY 1075
Jaipur, India

Youth in European Dress and Young Woman with Indian Headdress, from a Shahnamah

MSS 1000.1, MSS 1000.2
Isfahan, Iran


POT 684

Calligraphic Composition

CAL 154
Ottoman Turkey

Mail and Plate Shirt

MTW 1158
Northern Caucasus
for the Persian or Ottoman market

Two ‘Hands of Fatimah’

JLY 1923
India, possibly Hyderabad (Deccan)

Calligraphic Practice Sheet

CAL 266
Qazvin, Iran

Single Folio from a Four-part Qur’an

KFQ 90
Iran, Isfahan

Carpet with Star Medallions

TXT 213
Ushak, western Anatolia, Turkey

Mosque Lamp

GLS 572

Single Folio from a Qur’an

KFQ 45
Middle East or North Africa

Single Folio from a Qur’an

KFQ 50
Middle East

Five Folios from a Qur’an

KFQ 52
Middle East or North Africa

Two Folios from the ‘Blue Qur’an’

KFQ 53
North Africa or Spain

Single Folio from a Qur’an

KFQ 60
probably the Hijaz

Two Bifolios from a Qur’an

KFQ 82
Middle East

Single Folio from a Qur’an

KFQ 93
Middle East or North Africa

Single Folio from a Large Qur’an

KFQ 96
probably North Africa

Single Folio from a Qur'an

KFQ 34
Middle East

Single Folio from a Qur’an

KFQ 84
Middle East or North Africa



Khalili Collections Logo

Share this page