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Type of Item
Overview of Afghanistan and the Countries on the Northwest Border of India
Carl Zimmermann was a first lieutenant in the Prussian Army who, in the early 1840s, developed a strong personal and professional interest in the conflict then being waged by the British Army in Afghanistan. In what became known as the First Anglo-Afghan War (1839-40), Britain tried to extend its control from India northwest into Afghanistan, but suffered a series of disastrous defeats at the hands of the Afghan tribes and eventually was forced to withdraw. In 1842 Zimmermann published Der Kriegs-Schauplatz in Inner-Asien (The theater of war in inner Asia ...
Verses by Jami
This calligraphic fragment includes verses composed by the Persian poet Jami (died 1492 [897 AH]), whose full name, Mawlana 'Abd al-Rahman Jami, is noted in the topmost panel. In larger script appears a ghazal (lyric poem) in which a lover sighs about the lack of news from his beloved. The central text frames are bordered on the right and left by illuminated panels and contain a ruba'i (iambic pentameter quatrain) written in smaller script. The quatrain encourages true and eternal love of God rather than passing infatuations: "Every beautiful ...
Prayers for Safety and Success
This calligraphic fragment includes verses in Persian praying for the patron's personal well-being and the prosperity of his kingdom. The verses read: "May the world be (your) fortune and the firmament (your) friend / May the World-Creator (God) protect (you) / May all your works be successful / May God of the World look after you / May your heart and your kingdom be collected and well-frequented / May division stay far away from your realm." The verses are executed in black nasta'liq script on beige paper. They are framed by cloud bands ...
Verses by Hilālī
This calligraphic fragment includes three distinct text panels all executed in Nasta'liq script: one written in black ink on blue paper, another in white ink on beige paper with two illuminated triangles (or thumb pieces) in the upper and lower corners, and a third (lowest on the page) written in black ink on beige paper. All three panels were cut out and placed together, provided with a gold frame, and pasted to a larger sheet of paper decorated with flecks of gold. The blue text panel includes verses composed ...
Three Bayts (Verses) to a Loved One
This calligraphic fragment includes three bayts (verses) of poetry in the main text panel and ten verses around this panel, creating a textual frame decorated with gold vine and leaf motifs. The entire calligraphic piece is pasted to a paper decorated with blue geometric and vegetal motifs highlighted in gold. The central text panel is topped by an illuminated rectangular panel and includes a decorative triangle in the upper left corner. The verses in the central panel are written in nasta'liq script on a white ground decorated with ...
Persia (Iran), Afghanistan and Baluchistan
This map of Persia (present-day Iran), Afghanistan, and Baluchistan (the western part of present-day Pakistan) was produced for The Century Atlas of the World, published by the Century Company of New York in 1897. The atlas was the last volume in a ten-volume set that included The Century Dictionary (volumes 1-8) and The Century Cyclopedia of Names (volume 9). In keeping with the encyclopedic style of the series, the map includes notes about the size and political organization of the countries depicted. Persia is described as an independent country ruled ...
Afghanistan, Beloochistan, etc.
This 1893 map of Afghanistan and Baluchistan (the western part of present-day Pakistan) was published by Hunt & Eaton and engraved by Fisk & Co. of New York. Located at Fifth Avenue and 20th St. in Manhattan, Hunt & Eaton were the agents of the Methodist Book Concern, the publishing and bookselling arm of the American Methodist Church. The book concern was established in Philadelphia in 1799, and over the years used a series of firms as its agent. Hunt & Eaton was formed in 1889 when Homer Eaton joined the Reverend Sanford Hunt ...
Persia, Afghanistan and Baluchistan
This 1904 map of Persia (as Iran was then known), Afghanistan, and parts of present-day Pakistan is by the Americana Company of New York, publisher of the Encyclopedia Americana. Also included in the map are large parts of Central Asia (known as Turkestan) that were then part of the Russian Empire, the extreme western part of China, and the Persian Gulf. The late 19th and early 20th centuries were a period of intense rivalry for influence in this part of the world between the Russian and British empires. Railroad construction ...
Persia, Afghanistan and Baluchistan
Chicago-based Rand McNally became a major publisher of atlases, maps, globes, and travel guides in the United States in the second half of the 19th century. This map of Persia (as Iran was known until 1935), Afghanistan, and Baluchistan is from the 1898 edition of Rand, McNally & Cos. Indexed Atlas of the World, Containing Large Scale Maps of Every Country and Civil Division upon the Face of the Globe, Together with Historical, Statistical and Descriptive Matter Relative to Each. The atlas contains two volumes, one with maps of the United ...
Map of Persia and Adjacent Countries, for Sir John Malcolm's History of Persia
Sir John Malcolm (1769-1833) was a British soldier, colonial administrator, diplomat, linguist, and historian. He was born in Scotland, left school at age 12, and, through an uncle, secured a position in the East India Company. While stationed in various parts of India as an officer in the company’s military forces, he became interested in foreign languages, which he studied diligently. He became fluent in Persian and, over the years, served as an interpreter and British envoy to Persia in various capacities. In 1815, he published his History of ...
Map of the Pishin Valley and Upper Basin of the Lora: Constructed from the Surveys and Reconnaissances Executed by Officers Attached to the Forces Serving in Southern Afghanistan, Collated with Major Wilson's Map by W. J. Turner
This map of the region around the Pishin Lora River in southern Afghanistan and western Pakistan was presented at a meeting of the Royal Geographical Society in London on February 9, 1880, in connection with a paper by Major-General Sir Michael A. Biddulph, “Pishin and the Routes Between India and Candahar [Kandahar].” The previous year, Biddulph had led a military expedition of British, Gurkha, and Punjabi troops on an expedition from British India into Afghanistan. The map is based on an earlier British military map, with corrections and additions based ...
Glorifications of the Prophetic Traditions
This manuscript, written by Ibrāhim bin Mustafā in 1744, is a copy of a work in Arabic by the Afghan scholar Al-Baghawi (1043-1122), written sometime between 1116 and 1122 (510-516 A.H.). It is a summary, in seven chapters, of seven collections of traditions about Muhammad, arranged according to their veracity. The manuscript is from the Bašagić Collection of Islamic Manuscripts in the University Library of Bratislava, Slovakia, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 1997. Safvet beg Bašagić (1870-1934) was a Bosnian scholar, poet ...
History of the Afghans
The History of the Afghans, published in English in 1829, is the first history of the Afghan people translated from a non-Western language to appear in a European language. The original work was composed in Persian, in 1609-11, by Neamet Ullah (active 1613-30) in the court of the Mughal emperor Jahangir (1569-1627). Ullah based his work on material compiled by Hybet Khan, an attendant of the Afghan General Khan Jahan Lodi. The translation is by the German philologist and Orientalist Bernhard Dorn (1805-81), who worked from a copy of the ...
The Medical Formulary of Al-Samarqandī
Little is known about the author of this treatise on medical remedies, Nağīb al-Dīn Al-Samarqandī, apart from the fact that he was killed during the pillage of Herat (present-day Afghanistan) by the Mongols in 1222. His premature death notwithstanding, al-Samarqandī composed an impressive number of medical treatises dealing with pharmacology, dietetics, toxicology, and ophthalmology, and books on medicine in general. Al-Samarqandī showed a degree of modernity and independent thinking in his treatment of pathology. He appeared to set aside the theory of the four humors of the body dating back ...
Bokhara, Kabool, Beloochistan, &c.
This map of Afghanistan and parts of present-day Iran and Pakistan was published by Charles Knight (1791–1873), an English author and publisher who is best known for his role as superintendent for publications for the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. The society was founded in London in 1826 for the purpose of improving the educational level of the British working and middle classes. In the 1830s and 1840s, it produced numerous publications, including a Library of Useful Knowledge, the volumes of which sold for sixpence, and a ...
The Hindu Kush and Passes Between the Kabul and Oxus
This map originally appeared in the February 1879 issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society and Monthly Record of Geography in connection with an article by C.R. Markham entitled “The Upper Basin of the Kabul River.” The Hindu Kush is a range of high mountains that extends some 800 kilometers in a northeast-to-southwest direction from the Pamir Mountains near the Pakistan-China border, through Pakistan, and into western Afghanistan. The range forms the drainage divide between two great river systems, the Amu Darya to the northwest, and the ...
This illuminated frontispiece is one of two pages that would have formed the opening double-page composition of a manuscript. It is possible that it belonged to a Qur'an. The title would have appeared in the top and bottom rectangular panels. The central medallion may have contained the beginning of the first chapter of the Qur'an, al-Fatihah (The opening). It also may have served as a space for the work’s dedication to a patron or blessings upon its owner. The illumination is typical of Qur'an frontispieces made ...
Divan of Sultan Husayn Mirza
This folio includes ten lines of poetry from a divan (compendium of poems) written in Chagatay Turkish by the last Timurid ruler, Sultan Husayn Mirza (1438–1506). Executed in nasta'liq script through a process of découpage, the fragment belongs to a now dispersed manuscript possibly calligraphed by Sultan 'Ali al-Mashhadi around 1490. Sultan Husayn Mirza b. Mansur b. Bayqara was ruler of Khurasan, based in its capital city of Herat (present-day Afghanistan), from 1469 to his death in 1506. The city was an important cultural center, attracting both Turkish ...
This sanad (document) is in the form of a namah (letter) written in black Nasta'liq script and outlined in cloud bands on a gold background. The letter is from a ruler to a certain Mirza Yadigar, from whom he requests military assistance. In response, the ruler sends a reputable fighter named Mirza Qilich (qilich means "sword" in Turkish) to the ruler. Known as Rustam-i Zaman (the Rustam of his day, Rustam being a great Persian hero) because of his fighting prowess, Mirza Qilich provides military assistance to vanquish the ...
Quatrain on Divine Mercy
This calligraphic fragment includes a ruba'i (iambic pentameter quatrain), a few words of which are lost due to water damage. The poem begins with an invocation to God as "Ya Malak al-Muluk" (the King of Kings) and then praises God's mercy as a torrential rain, which allows humans to find fana' (annihilation) in the Divine. This spiritual blossoming resembles the growth of plants on the surface of a hard stone. On the back of this fragment appears the inscribed attribution "Mawlana Sultan Mīr ʻAlī," intended to identify the ...
Quatrain Praising Vision
This calligraphic fragment includes a ruba'i (iambic pentameter quatrain), praising vision as the most keen of the human senses. The text is written in black Nasta'liq script on a beige paper decorated with gold paint. The text panel is framed by two borders in beige and gold and pasted to a blue paper decorated with gold flower and vine motifs. Beginning with an invocation to huwa al-mu'izz (God as the Glorified), the verses read: “The heart is a place of sadness and the eye is the site ...