Advice ("Nasihat") to a King from Saʻdi's "Bustan"


This fragment includes an excerpt from Bustan (The fruit orchard), by Shaykh Saʻdi Shirazi (circa 1213–92), in which he offers nasihat (advice) to a ruler. The author counsels a king not to worry about what he does not have, because all things come to an end. He also notes that good deeds matter, as only a man’s reputation and the memory of him remain after his death. Saʻdi’s text continues on the fragment’s verso, as evidenced by the similar subject matter and the continuation of the makun takiyah (catchwords) in the lower-left corner of the recto. The calligraphic fragment is executed in black nastaʻliq script in horizontal and diagonal lines on a beige folio decorated with polygonal motifs highlighted in gold. Various text panels are framed by simple borders, creating a complex web of verses in a quilt-like pattern. The text panel is framed by several borders and pasted to blue paper decorated with flower-and-medallion motifs painted in gold. The folio’s layout and style are typical of works produced in Safavid Persia (Iran) during the 16th century.

Last updated: September 30, 2016