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  • Place of origin:

    Mughal Empire (made)

  • Date:

    first half 17th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Sultan 'Ali al-Mashhadi (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Ink, opaque watercolour and gold on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Lady Wantage

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Calligraphy by great Iranian masters was collected by the elite of the Mughal court in the 16th and 17th centuries. Examples such as this, identified by E. Dennison Ross as verses from Sa'di's Bustan copied and signed by Sultan 'Ali al-Mashhadi, were illuminated by Mughal artists and then incorporated into royal albums. The illumination was probably done in the 1620s for Jahangir, and floral borders were added later when the page was remounted for incorporation into an album for his son and successor, Shah Jahan (1628-1658).
An impression from an authentic seal of the emperor Jahangir dated regnal year 6 [=1612] has been added to the page, probably in the 18th century. It also appears on several pages in the V&A done after 1612, in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Physical description

Painting, ink, opaque watercolour and gold on paper. This page from an album is composed of a calligraphic panel by Sultan 'Ali al-Mashhadi, with an illuminated ground added by a Mughal court artist, mounted on a page for an album with floral borders.

Place of Origin

Mughal Empire (made)


first half 17th century (made)


Sultan 'Ali al-Mashhadi (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Ink, opaque watercolour and gold on paper


Height: 38.9 cm page size, Width: 26.4 cm page size, Height: 21.2 cm panel including blue border, Width: 15 cm panel including blue border

Object history note

This page from a royal album of Shah Jahan (r.1628-1658) was given to Lady Wantage by her father, and bequeathed to the museum in 1921.

Descriptive line

Painting, calligraphy panel by Sultan 'Ali of Mashhad, ink, opaque watercolour and gold on paper, border and decoration Mughal, first half 17th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Swallow, Deborah and John Guy eds. Arts of India: 1550-1900. Text by Rosemary Crill, John Guy, Veronica Murphy, Susan Stronge and Deborah Swallow. London : V&A Publications, 1990, p. 80 ill. no. 55.
Baker, Malcolm, and Brenda Richardson (eds.), A Grand Design: The Art of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London: V&A Publications, 1999.
p. 42 and 43, cat. no. 16
Swallow, D., Stronge, S., Crill, R., Koezuka, T., editor and translator, "The Art of the Indian Courts. Miniature Painting and Decorative Arts", Victoria & Albert Museum and NHK Kinki Media Plan, 1993.
No. 11
Clarke, C. Stanley; Indian Drawings: Thirty Mogul Paintings of the School of Jehangir and Four Panels of Calligraphy ini the Wantage Bequest. London 1922


Opaque watercolour; Ink; Gold; Paper



Subjects depicted

Goats; Calligraphy; Flowers


Manuscripts; Calligraphy; Paintings; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project; Animals and Wildlife


South & South East Asia Collection

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