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4729Re: Guy-i Çevgân

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  • Jake Benson
    Jun 18, 2008
      Salaam Haytham,

      Please accept my apologies for not responding to your message sooner.
      It came right at the end of the semester, and took me some time to write
      a good, thorough reply. Also, if the characters do not display
      correctly in this message, please let me know and I can send it to you

      Yes, both the painting and the page of découpage calligraphy
      (qati' in Arabic and Farsi, kât'i in Modern Turkish) that you
      posted is definitely from the Guy-i Çevgân (TSM Hazine 845, dated
      946 AH/ 1539-40 CE). This image can be found, albeit unidentified in
      another folder posted by memebr "Ebrucu33" "Images of historic
      <http://ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/Marbling/photos/view/6179?b=7> (As an
      aside, it would be nice if "Ebrucu33" would kindly take the time to
      identify the images posted therein with their descriptions and sources,
      as no one else can edit that album).

      This name Guy-i Çevgân is actually the Turkicized transliteration
      of the Persian title Gû-ye Chowgân (گوی چوگان),
      translated to mean "Polo Ball and Mallet". This famous masnavi poem is
      also entitled "Hâlnâmeh" (حالنامه) or "Book of
      Ecstasy", as the object of the game is a metaphor for reaching a state
      of ecstasy. It was composed in A.H. 842 (A.D. 1438-39) by the poet
      'Arifî (d. 1449), who lived in Herat, the last capital of the
      Timurids. The text of this poem was translated into English a few years
      ago by Dr. Wheeler Thackston and Hossein Ziai, and published by Mazda
      publishers in California:

      The page that you posted has been published in Nedim Sönmez' book
      Ebru: The Turkish Art of Marbling (published in German, Turkish, and
      English editions). There is an enlarged image reproduced on page 8, and
      a smaller image of two leaves on page 25. Unfortunately, the exact
      folio numbers of the manuscript are not provided, but I can tell you
      that the image depicts stanzas 332-346 (abyât) of the poem.
      Furthermore, the caption in Sönmez' book mistakenly attributes the
      work to the 17th c. Ottoman calligrapher Hafiz Osman; it is actually the
      work of the 16th c. découpage artist Mehmed bin Gazanfer.

      Different leaves from the same manuscript have also been published by
      Metin Sözen in his book Arts in the Age of Sinan (Istanbul:
      Kültür ve Turizm Bakanligi, 1988). A similar gold
      sprinkled (zarafshân) is reproduced in a brief chapter entitled
      "Marbling-Ebru" on pages 154-55. While the captions in Sözen's book
      correctly attribute the work to Mehmed bin Gazanfer, the exact folios
      numbers of the manuscript are once again not provided. In any case they
      are of stanzas 78-94 of the poem. Sözen has also reproduced the
      opening lines of the poem (dibacheh) of the manuscript on pages 152-53,
      of stanzas 1-9. Looking at it again just now, I see that stanza 14 has
      been inserted in between stanzas 7 and 8. It may be that the artist did
      this so as to provide a symmetrical layout of 10 stanzas for the opening
      pages, as well as the fact that a new section entitled "Proclaiming the
      Real as One" (Ham dar Tawhîd-e Hazrat-e Haqq) commences with stanza
      10. Another leaf on pp 202-3 which depict stanzas 56-61. None of the
      borders of these other leaves are marbled; the dibacheh is gold-flecked
      and the second leaf is stenciled in the spattered technique that I
      recently mentioned on this list a few weeks ago.

      The image of the painting that you posted are definitely Ottoman, and
      are typical of those seen in manuscript copies of this poem. That said,
      all of the other features of this manuscript are closer to Safavid
      styles that in turn imitate Timurid ones. We really don't know much
      about Mehmed bin Gazanfer except what can be gleaned from his works. A
      brief account has been published by Gülbün Mesara, the daughter of
      the late Turkish art historian Süheyl Ünver, in her small
      publication Türk Sanatinda Ince Kagit
      Oymaciligi (Kati') on pages 11-12. His name suggests that
      his family originally came from Kazan. We know that he was an Ottoman
      subject as he wrote a poem in praise of Sultan Süleyman (but not on
      marbled paper) We really can't say for certain that he made the marbled
      paper used in this manuscript either. Another similar example can be
      found in a compendium of 40 Hadith by Abdül Hayif Ali, which is
      also written in découpage calligraphy, that was dedicated to
      Sehzade Mehmed (TSKM E.H. 2851, fol. 2a). See Esin Atil, Arts
      in the Age of Süleyman the Magnificent, illustration 18b.

      Thanks for posting the image of the painting from this manuscript, as
      for ONCE, the folio numbers have been given by the photographer, 35a

      Here is the original link:


      While the late Nüsret Hepgül included this manuscript in his
      survey of manuscripts, he did not state which folios feature
      specifically marbled papers, nor could he read the colophon to be able
      to tell us more about the ms. I would love to know if any other leaves
      from this manuscript have been published. Access to it has been
      restricted for a long time now as it is very fragile.


      Jake Benson

      --- In Marbling@yahoogroups.com, "senefru1" <senefru1@...> wrote:
      > I have created a photo album named "Guy i Cevgan" containing 2 photos,
      > I wonder which one of them is Arifi's (Guy i Cevgan)marbled paper, I
      > was searching for this 1539 Ottman marbling example, but I found these
      > two photos carrying the same name and date. please if any one knows
      > true "Guy i Cevgan" tell me
      > thanks

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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