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Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper
Image: 10.7 x 6 cm (4 3/16 x 2 3/8 in.); Overall: 24.7 x 18.2 cm (9 3/4 x 7 3/16 in.); Text area: 22.5 x 16.5 cm (8 7/8 x 6 1/2 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1945.382.b
The Benefits of Animals describes the physical characteristics of many different animals and provides their medicinal uses at the time. Most of the text on this page is a continuation of a section about doves from the previous page. It says, for example, that blood from dove wings cures sore eyes and cooked dove egg mixed with honey and a little borax is good for those with liver complaints. The large title written in Kufic script near the bottom of the page translates as “The Quail and its Qualities and Benefits,” marking the beginning of the next section. The illustration depicts two quails in active postures.
The Mongol ruler of Iran from 1295 to 1304, Ghazan Khan, commissioned a Persian translation of the Arabic text, and this important page is from one of the earliest illustrated manuscripts.
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