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PERSIAN LITHOGRAPHED BOOKS: تذكرة الاخوان [Message to Brothers] [Followed by Title:] كوز الرموز



A lithographed Persian text against Sufism and supporting Sharia, written by a Shah’s son Soleiman Mirza Qajar, with especially fine lithographed ornaments and an excellent provenance.


8°: [148 pp.] lithographed text with illustrated headers, contemporary brown goat, contemporary blue endpapers (old annotation on paper, mounted on the inner side of the rear board, manuscript title in black ink in English on the first blank page, binding little age-toned, stained, and scuffed on the spine and edges, rear endpapers cracked in hinges, but stable, internally crisp and clean).



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Soleiman Mirza Qajar (1810 – 1859) was the 34th son of the second Shah of Qajar Iran Fath-Ali Shah Qajar (فتحعلى‌شاه قاجار, 1769 – 1834). In this text he defends the “correct path” of the Muslims, or Sharia, and gives arguments against Sufism.

Not much is known about Soleiman Mirza Qajar, who was a governor of the Karaj district. According to one of the legends, Soleymaniyeh Palace (کاخ سلیمانیه) in this city, with its today’s famous decoration and frescos, depicting Fath-Ali Shah Qajar’s family, was named after him.

The book is decorated with exceedingly fine illustrations on first text pages.


The book was purchased in the second half of the 19th century probably in Persia by John Fargues, an assistant superintendent of the English telegraph staff in Iran, a member of the Asiatic Society in Paris and a translator from Persian. Fargues was known for his translation of a treatise on Persian tiles and ceramics by Ali Muhammas Isfahani (active 1870s-1888) and published it under the title On the Manufacture of Modern Kashi Earthenware Tiles and Vases (Karimi 2013, p. 18).

Fargues is signed with a manuscript annotation “Ex Libris J. Fargues” next to a hand-written title in English on the first blank page, and with a signature “J. Fargues” on the first text page.

Still in the 19th century the book came to 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. The annotations on a paper, mounted in this book, are typical for the collection, the book was purchased with.

References : Moshar I, 377; M. Dorn, Catalogue des ouvreges arabes, persans et turcs, publiés à Constantinople, en Égypte et en Perse, qui se trouvent au Musée asiatique de l’Academie. Bulletin de l̕Académie impériale des sciences de St.-Pétersbourg, Vol. 10, 1866, p. 202, n. 24. Cf.: Nader Nasiri-Moghaddam, Schefer, Charles-Henri-Auguste, Encyclopaedia Iranica 2009 (on-line source: SCHEFER, Charles-Henri-Auguste – Encyclopaedia Iranica (iranicaonline.org)) ; Pamela Karimi, Domesticity and Consumer Culture in Iran. Interior Revolutions of the Modern Era, 2013, p. 18.

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