Iran and the Deccan

Iran and the Deccan: Persianate Art, Culture, and Talent in Circulation, 1400–1700, has just arrived in the post. I am thrilled to have an essay included in it.

Iran and the Deccan; View of Mahan and the Shrine of Shah Nimatullah Vali (Photo: Keelan Overton). 

This chapter is the result of more than five years of collaboration with University of St Andrews Library Special Collections Visiting Scholarship Scheme, of which we were recipients in 2016. It was also an opportunity to work with the late Bruce Wannell, an incredible scholar and traveller, who brought his unique joie de vivre, linguistic expertise, and knowledge of Islamic religious practice to the project.

Bruce Wannell (1953-2020) studying the St Andrews Qur'an manuscript, summer 2016; Madrasa of Mahmud Gavan, Bidar, Deccan (Photo: Keelan Overton).

'Indo-Persian Histories from the Object Out: The St Andrews Qur’an Manuscript between Timurid, Safavid, Mughal, and Deccani Worlds,' explores the peregrinations of one manuscript and the material evidence of these migrations as witnessed in its pages and binding. Two blog posts document stages of the study as the manuscript slowly revealed its secrets to us!

We hope that the final essay reveals some of the St Andrews Qur'an's many mysteries and provides a model for interdisciplinary manuscript study.

Iran and the Deccan: Persianate Art, Culture, and Talent in Circulation, 1400–1700, Edited by Keelan Overton and published by Indiana University Press, is available now in paperback. The book features 14 essays by an interdisciplinary cast of 18 scholars specializing in history, literary studies, language and translation, book arts and conservation, and architectural history.

Studying the St Andrews Qur'an manuscript, summer 2016; Shrine of Imam Riza, Mashhad (Photo: Keelan Overton).

Further reading:
Overton, Keelan. “Book Culture, Royal Libraries, and Persianate Painting in Bijapur, circa 1580-1630.” Muqarnas: An Annual on the Visual Cultures of the Islamic World 33 (2016): 91-154.
From an enigmatic binding stamp to a holistic reassessment: the St Andrews Qur’an, 20 December 2016.
A Persian-Deccani manuscript in Scotland, 06 January 2017.
The St Andrews Qur’an Part Two: Deconstructing a Frontispiece, Mapping an Insert, 16 July 2018.


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