Mukhtar Sanders

Displays of Persian Mastery

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Excerpt from our ‘Arabic Calligraphy Around the World’ calendar; Persia is more often associated with the Nastaliq style of calligraphy developed in the 15th century and usually written in the Persian language Farsi. However, superb examples abound in other styles from this region such as the work of Samarkand calligrapher ‘Umar Aqta’, who was both one-handed and left-handed. He was said to have written a Quran for Tamerlane that was so small it would fit inside a signet ring. When that failed to impress, he presented Tamerlane with a giant Quran, each line more than a cubit in length (the width from elbow to fingertip), which had to be delivered to the palace in a wheelbarrow. For this he was rewarded on an appropriate scale.

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