Lewis ‘scrapbook’

Madras, India, eighteenth century
MS Add.254, fo. 49

A collection of letters and manuscript fragments collected by George Lewis and displaying specimens of different languages, scripts and calligraphy pasted into the pages of a single volume. Many are examples of letters to Lewis himself; others show examples of different Islamic script styles a few of which are signed and dated. Some are by celebrated calligraphers. In addition to Persian and Arabic, the range of languages includes examples of Armenian, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Siamese, Chinese and Tamil. These pages show examples in Persian; on the left are three specimens of nastal’liq script, one of which is dated 1698, on the right is a specimen of naskh script dated to 1680. The scrapbook was donated a little later than the rest of the collection but it has its own designated compartment in the upper part of the cabinet.

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