Persian Documents

The collection is represented by lavishly designed firmans and hoqms, various legal acts, imperial decrees,charters granting estates and documents of ritual content issued in the 16th-19th centuries by the Iranian royal court (Safavid, Avshar, Zend, Qajar dynasties) as well as to Eeast-Georgian Christian and Islamized kings.

The majority of Persian documents preserved in Georgia are lavishly illuminated firmans of the Safavid period (1501-1722, Tabriz/Qazvin/Ispahan), issued by Shah 'Abbas I (1587-1629), Shah Safi I (1629-42), Shah 'Abbas II (1642-66), Shah Sulayman I (1666-94), Shah Sultan Husayn (1694-1722) and Shah Tahmasp II (1722-32). Among these especially lavish and colourful are the firmans by Sultan-Husayn. Only the Qajar (1799-1925, Tehran) illuminated documents can compete with them in brilliance, abundance of colour and refinement.

The texts of Persian documents are short. It is usually placed between an ornamented frame designed on two sides with stylized floral motifs. The text area is covered with coloured flower motifs corresponding to the frame ornament. Often a seal in a decorative frame is placed in the centre of the upper part of the illumination frame; in addition to calligraphy, this is given special artistic function. For Persian illuminated documents ready-made Iranian artistic frames are also met; these were widely used in Islamic manuscripts of that period.