Arabic Primer of Calligraphy


Muhammad Shafiq (died 1879) was a major Ottoman calligrapher who excelled in instructional calligraphic pieces. This particular work, filled throughout with intricate arabesque floral designs typical of the late Ottoman period, is in a notable Arabic calligraphic style, the naskhi script, which connects the Arabic letters to one another in a harmonious way. Of interest in this particular work is the binding, which reveals the origins of the manuscript. The typical flap is a hallmark of most valuable Islamic bindings throughout history. The covers are richly gilt in floral decorations that echo the floral design of the opening pages.

Last updated: September 18, 2015