Lot 439: Hafez (Aams-al-Din Mohammad, of Shiraz) The Works of Dewan Hafez: With an Account of his Life and Writings, Calcutta: A. Upjohn, 1791



2015-11-05 11:28:42

Lot 438: Hafez (Aams-al-Din Mohammad, of Shiraz). The Works of Dewan Hafez: With an Account of his Life and Writings, Calcutta: A. Upjohn, 1791, title in Persian and English, with woodblock British royal and East India Company coats-of-arms at head, imprint within decorative border, text in Persian in nasta'liq and naskhi type, later pencil annotation throughout, lacking leaves 79 and 80 from the third part, tiny hole to title imprint affecting one letter, tiny marginal wormhole affecting title and first 8 leaves, pp.8-9 of second part cut short and into a couple of words, a couple of other catchwords in second part just trimmed by the binder, leaves 5 and 6 of third part sometime neatly remargined, leaves 119 and 120 in third part mis-foliated as published, last 19 leaves stained and with other lighter staining mainly confined to gutter affecting various gatherings, marbled endpapers, contemporary ownership stamp of Mr Strachey on endpaper, possibly repeated in ink manuscript in Persian below, label of Carberry Tower Library, contemporary half calf, worn, spine and corners crudely repaired with tape, folio (270 x 175mm) Very rare first printed edition of the celebrated Persian lyric poet, who lived 1315-1390. The edition itself was compiled by Abu Taleb Khan Landani (1753-1805/06; administrator at Lucknow and author) based on 12 manuscripts. 'By common consent [Hafez] represents the zenith of Persian lyric poetry. In no other Persian poet can be found such a combination of fertile imagination, polished diction, apt choice of words, and silken melodious expressions' (Enc. Iranica Vol. XI, Fasc. 5, pp. 461-465). This edition was printed in 1200 copies by Aaron Upcott (fl.1785-1800). 'The first printed edition using movable type was commissioned by Richard Johnson of the East India Company [...] In a letter to Johnson prior to its publication, Sir William Jones, the famous orientalist and translator of Hafez, had complimented Johnson on taking up the task: "An impression of your Hafiz will, indeed, be a valuable acquisition to the publick; and I hope some years hence to offer up a copy of it on the tomb of the divine poet near the crystal stream of Rucnabad"' (Enc. Iranica Vol. XI, Fasc. 5, pp. 479-483). Only 7 institutional copies have been traced: BL, Cambridge, Bodleian, Edinburgh, Marburg, Princeton and Chapel Hill. Shaw 186 (not calling for the first part of 15 ll., nor the second part of 5 ll.). (1) Dominic Winter's Travel & Natural History Maps, Prints & Sporting Art Early Printed Books Military History Wednesday, 11th November 2015 Estimate: £2000-3000
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