AVICENNA [Abū Ἁlī al-Husayn ibn Ἁbdallāh IBN SῙNᾹ]. [Arabice:] Liber canonis. Libri quinque canonis medicinae.’ Rome, Typographia Medicea, 1593.
Very rare first edition of the first Arabic edition of Avicenna’s Canon of medicine, printed in Europe well over a hundred years before the establishment of Arabic printing presses in Aleppo, Istanbul, or Beirut.
Here bound without Avicenna’s compendium of logic, metaphysics and philosophy, al-Najat, this is a wonderful copy and, with the exception of a couple of tiny repairs to the title and final leaf, void of the extensive repairs or restorations commonly encountered in this extremely rare Arabic edition.
[BAHĀʾ-AL-DĪN ʿĀMELĪ, SHAIKH MOḤAMMAD B. ḤOSAYN BAHĀʾĪ]. Khulāṣat al‐ḥisāb [The Summa of arithmetic or Quintessence of calculation]. [Near or Middle East], 1075 AH [1664 CE].
A very early and well preserved copy of this important and influential mathematical work by Shaykh Baha’ al-Din (1547-1621), famed for his excellent command of mathematics, architecture and geometry, and one of the earliest astronomers in the Islamic world to suggest the possibility of the earth’s movement prior to the spread of the Copernican theory.
[ESHQI, Mohammad, gardener and assumed author]. [Ottoman Turkish:] Tulip Calendar. [Istanbul?, c. 1800].
A very rare little gardening manuscript by a named author, seemingly a personal gardener under, and to, the enlightened Sultan Selim III.
Executed in a beautiful, small nashkī script on glazed paper, and preserved in its original binding, this highly unusual manuscript describes the arrangement of a tulip garden in a calendrical form.
[QUR’AN]. Qur’an in Arabic. Northern India (perhaps Delhi), dated 1288 AH (1870/71 AD).
A monumental (ca. 1120 x 2060 mm) and highly unusual Qur’an manuscript, containing the entire text of the Qur’an in 217 exceptionally long lines of an accomplished minuscule naskh in black ink across a single writing surface formed from six sheets of paper joined together and painted to evoke embroidered silk, with geometric decoration in shell gold over a salmon pink ground, wide border painted in dark blue with floral motifs in shell gold and incorporating a cartouche at top for the title (Al-Qur’an al-karim) and at foot for the colophon.
The colophon states that the Qur’an was written and designed by those who supported the Bakht during the time and in the court of the Shah, i.e. presumably Bahadur Shah II Zafar (1775–1862), the last Mughal Emperor. Two of the Shah’s sons, Bahadur Shah and Mirza Jawan Bakht had been exiled to Rangoon following the Indian Rebellion in 1857, and the Qur’an would thus seem partly to have a commemorative function, harking back to the last years before direct British control.
We are aware of only one other comparable Qur’an on the market in recent years, a smaller and later example signed by one Ghulam Khaydar Sirhindi in Malerkotla and dated 1296 AH.