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PERSIAN LITHOGRAPHED BOOKS / POETRY: زبدة الاسرار [Zubdat al-asrār]



8°. [2 pp.] lithographed text, [2 pp.] manuscript in black ink in Arabic language, [11 pp.], 357 pp., , [2 pp.] errata, lithographed text with lithographed decorations to first text pages, contemporary straight-grain Morocco binding with blind tooling (old book-seller’s stamps to the first pages, late 19th century annotations, mounted on the inner side of the front board, endpapers composed from various pieces of paper slightly stained and with old annotations in pencil and black ink, binding little age-toned and rubbed, a tear in the lower margin of pp. 117-118, rear sheets loose, margins with minor soiling and tiny tears in margins).


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This is possibly the first printed edition of the mystical religious poetry of a Persian scholar and author Mirza Hasan al-Isfahani, known as Safi Ali Shah Nimatullahi (1251-after 1291 / 1835 – after 1875). Not much is known about the author, except that he came from Isfahan, and after travelling to several holy cities and completing the Hajj, he settled in Tehran. In his notes Safi Ali Shah Nimatullahi mentions, that he composed Zubdat al-asrār in India. (في الهند إلى تأليف زبدة الأسرار … دار التعارف للمطبوعات – بيروت-ط 1( 1983) , ج: 5- ص: 22, on line source: موسوعة التراجم والأعلام – الميرزا حسن الأصفهاني الملقب بصفي علي شاه نعمة اللهي (taraajem.com)).

This example is preserved in a fine original binding.

Provenance: From the collection of Charles-Henri-Auguste Schefer (1820 – 1898), a professor at Ecole des languages orientales, translator and bibliophile. His collection and estate were sold at auctions in 1898 and 1899. Schefer’s recognizable annotations are mounted on the inner side of the front cover.

We could not find any institutional examples on Worldcat.

References: Moshar 875; معجم المؤلفين , 1957, p. 555, no. 4163.

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