PETITION FOR FUNDS; INSHA' 2
December 31, 1799
Art and Calligraphy
Shah Alam II 1759–1806
- Calligraphy, Arabic
- Manuscripts, Persian--Washington (D.C.)
- Calligraphy, Persian
- Calligraphy, Indian
- Arabic script calligraphy
- Illuminated Islamic manuscripts
- Indian nasta'liq
- Islamic calligraphy
- Islamic manuscripts
- Petition for Funds; Insha' literary compositions or letters (insha') written by the calligrapher Lutfallah Khan, in the Indian Nasta'liq script, from Janpur in India in the 18th Cent.
- At the top of the verso of this fragment appears a now illegible attribution note stating that the text was written in the "handwriting of" (khatt-i...). The calligrapher may well be Lutfallah Khan, who also executed the text on the fragment's recto (1-87-154.146a R). The text itself, written in a crisp nasta'liq, is highly florid. It begins with a poetical excerpt dedicated to the addressee, calling him the "flower of the garden and the towers of Fortune." The writer states that he was very happy to see him, that he was satisfied, and that he treasures their friendship.
- Dimensions of Written Surface: Recto: 5.2 (w) x 13.8 (h) cm. Dimensions of Written Surface: Verso: 4.6 (w) x 11 (h) cm
- The calligraphies are typically written in a hasty nasta'liq on white paper, framed in blue, and pasted to a pink or salmon cardboard. They stand out for being in rather poor condition, in many cases badly damaged by worm holes and/or water stains. Some bear squiggle-like marks in the margins, while others include seal impressions that were cut out and pasted onto the cardboards. In most cases, an attribution to a calligrapher is written at the top, preceded by the expression "written by" (raqamahu) or "the handwriting of" (khatt-i...).
- This calligraphic fragment belongs to a series of twenty-two literary compositions or letters (insha') written by the calligraphers named Mir Kalan, Khan Zaman (son of Khan Khanan), Qa'im Khan, Lutfallah Khan, and Mahabat Khan (1-84-154.49, 1-84-154.53-54, 1-87-154.146a-f, and 1-88-154.30). Judging from the script (Indian nasta'liq), a seal impression bearing the date 1113/1701-2 (1-87-154.146a R), and a letter mentioning the city of Janpur in India, it appears that these writings were executed in India during the 18th century. Furthermore, if one were to identify the calligrapher Mir Kalan as the renowned painter active during the mid-18th century in Lucknow, then this identification would add further support to identifying this calligraphic series in the Library of Congress' collection as a corpus of materials produced by several writers active in 18th-century India.
- This particular fragment is attributed to Lutfallah Khan, as noted by the expression "the handwriting of" (khatt-i Lutfallah Khan) written above the blue frame and below a cut out seal impression pasted in the upper horizontal margin. The seal impression includes the year 1113/1701-2 and the name Bahadur Shams al-Dawlah Khan. The text itself is a petition addressed to a certain Navab Sahib, asking him to endow a piece of land and provide funds for the employees working at the khanagah (monastery) of the deceased dervish Hajji Muhammad in Janpur. He also asks for further materials (i.e., food and clothing) for the poor (fuqara') who frequent this holy place of worship. He ends his letter by stating that he and the dervishes are busy praying for him and his welfare.
- Script: Indian nasta'liq
1 volume ; 19 (w) x 30 (h) cm
Library of Congress African and Middle Eastern Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
Library of Congress Control Number
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