November 3, 2011

Alphabet Book for Primary Schools in the Bosnian Vilayet

The first printing house in Bosnia and Herzegovina was founded in 1519 by Božidar Goraždanin, in the city of Goražde, in eastern Bosnia. Two years later, in 1521, the establishment closed and was moved to Romania. Subsequently, a small number of books written in Bosnia and Herzegovina were sent outside the country to be printed, in Venice, Vienna, Rome, and elsewhere, but books were not produced in the country. In the second half of the 19th century, there was a revival of interest in printing and publishing in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The first printing house started work in 1866, in Sarajevo, and was called Sopronova pečatnja (Sopron’s Publishing House), after its founder, Sopron Ignjat (1825–94), a journalist and printer-publisher from Novi Sad. This later became Vilajetska štamparija (Vilayet Printing House). Books were printed in the Latin, Cyrillic, Hebrew, and Arabic scripts. Following the occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Austria-Hungary in 1878, Vilajetska štamparija continued to produce books, but it changed its name to Zemaljska štamparija (National Printing House). The National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina preserves a valuable collection of the first school books printed at Vilajetska štamparija. Shown here is one of the items from this collection, Bukvar: za osnovne škole u vilajetu bosanskom (Alphabet Book for Primary Schools in the Bosnian Vilayet), published in 1867.

Bosnian Grammar for High Schools. Parts 1 and 2, Study of Voice and Form

The first printing house in Bosnia and Herzegovina was founded in 1519 by Božidar Goraždanin, in the city of Goražde, in eastern Bosnia. Two years later, in 1521, the establishment closed and was moved to Romania. Subsequently, a small number of books written in Bosnia and Herzegovina were sent outside the country to be printed, in Venice, Vienna, Rome, and elsewhere, but books were not produced in the country. In the second half of the 19th century, there was a revival of interest in printing and publishing in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The first printing house started work in 1866, in Sarajevo, and was called Sopronova pečatnja (Sopron’s Publishing House), after its founder, Sopron Ignjat (1825–94), a journalist and printer-publisher from Novi Sad. This later became Vilajetska štamparija (Vilayet Printing House). Books were printed in the Latin, Cyrillic, Hebrew, and Arabic scripts. Following the occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Austria-Hungary in 1878, Vilajetska štamparija continued to produce books, but it changed its name to Zemaljska štamparija (National Printing House). The National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina preserves a valuable collection of the first school books printed at Vilajetska štamparija. Shown here is one of the items from this collection, Gramatika bosanskoga jezika za srednje škole (Bosnian grammar for high schools), which was published in 1890 and printed in both Latin and Cyrillic letters.

The Guide to Benevolent Deeds and Rising Lights in the Prayers on the Chosen Prophet

This illuminated manuscript is a copy of Dalā’il al-khayrāt (Collection of prayers for the Prophet Muhammad), which was composed by Muḥammad ibn Sulayman al-Jazūlī (died 870 AH [1465 AD]). It was written in black Naskh script in the 11th century AH (17th century AD) in Ottoman Turkey. The prayers ask for blessings for the Prophet, and the individual reciting the prayers would also receive God’s blessings. Like many copies of this text, this manuscript includes additional devotional material, such as lists of al-asma al-sharifa (the noble names). It contains two facing illustrations (folios 15b–16a) featuring the mosque compound in Medina with the tombs of Muhammad, Abū Bakr, and ‘Umar. The reddish-brown goatskin binding is decorated with a central lobed medallion and four corner compartments with arabesque designs on a gold ground and decorative frames. The manuscript is from the Walters Art Museum and is designated Walters W. 583.

Comment on the Lights of Revelations

This Ottoman manuscript is a ḥāshiyah (gloss) on the commentary on the Qur’an entitled Anwār al-tanzīl, which was composed by ‘Abd Allāh al-Bayḍawī, who died in about 685 AH (1286 AD). The gloss was written by Kemalpaşazade (died 940 AH [1533 AD]), and the present copy was transcribed from the author's holograph in 966 AH (1558 AD) by ‘Uthmān ibn Manṣūr. The text is written in Turkish Nasta’līq script in black ink, with the words qāla (I said) and aqūlu (I said), being indicators of quotations, in red. The work opens with an illuminated incipit with title piece inscribed with the doxological formula (basmalah). The dark-brown leather binding has a central lobed oval with pendants and corner pieces with arabesque designs on a gold ground. The manuscript is from the Walters Art Museum and is designated Walters W. 584.

Jokes Relating to the Commentary on Al-Mataalia and Its Honorable Marginal Notes

The present work is a further commentary on the ḥāshiyah (gloss) by al-Sayyid al-Sharīf al-Jurjānī (died 816 AH [1413 AD]) on the Lawāmi’ al-asrār by Qutb al-Dīn al-Taḥtānī al-Rāzī (died 766 AH [1364 AD]). The latter is, in turn, a commentary on a book of logic entitled Maṭāli’ al-anwār by Sirāj al-Dīn Maḥmūd al-Urmawī (died 682 AH [1283 AD]). The scribe of this work, who may also have been the author, was Muhammad ibn Pir Ahmad al-Shahir bi-Ibn Arghun al-Shirazi. Written for the library of the Ottoman Sultan Selim I, it was completed in Bursa (in present-day northwestern Turkey) in 918 AH (1512 AD), the year of that ruler's accession to the throne. The text, which opens with an illuminated headpiece (folio 1b), is written in Naskh script, mostly in black ink. Certain words, such as qawluhu (his saying) and aqūlu (I say), appear in red and delineate a quotation. The brown goatskin binding with central lobed oval and pendants with arabesque designs is contemporary with the manuscript. The work is from the Walters Art Museum and is designated Walters W. 591.

Burning and Melting

This manuscript is an illuminated and illustrated copy of the poem Sūz va gudāz (Burning and melting) by Naw’ī Khabūshānī, who died in 1019 AH (1610 AD). It recounts the love story of a Hindu girl who burns herself on the funeral pyre of her betrothed. The codex was written in Nasta’līq script in black ink by Ibn Sayyid Murād al-Ḥusaynī and illustrated by Muḥammad ‘Alī Mashhadī in 1068 AH (1657 AD). According to the colophon, Ibn Sayyid Murād al-Ḥusaynī copied the manuscript for the painter Muḥammad ‘Alī, the “Mani of the time,” as a souvenir. The fact that the manuscript was produced for one of the most prolific artists of 17th-century Iran makes it a highly significant document. It opens with an illuminated incipit with headpiece (folio 1b) and closes with an illuminated tailpiece with colophon (folio 21b). Text pages have interlinear illumination and small rectangular and triangular pieces with polychrome floral and scrolling vine motifs. There are eight miniatures in a style associated with the Safavid centers of artistic production of Mashhad and Isfahan (folios 5a, 9a, 10b, 13a, 14a, 16a, 17b, and 19b). The manuscript is from the Walters Art Museum and is designated Walters W. 649.