Notes for Drawings, Diagrams and Analyses
This magnificent 5-volume by Mahmood Maher al-Naqsh, published in Teheran, 1983 is now available online. It presents the most complete investigation into the geometric patterning of this region.
These drawings, from which the following examples were selected, were originally acquired for the South Kensington Museum (the precursor of the Victoria & Albert Museum) by Sir Caspar Purdon Clarke in Tehran in 1876.
The Topkapi Scroll is thought to have been compiled in the 15th or 16th century and of Iranian origin. Essentially, it is an architect's manual describing symmetrical designs for the decoration of flat and raised surfaces. The following drawings are reproductions of the two dimensional designs only.
This remarkable set of architectural drawings was first brought to public attention in 1986 by Filiz Çagman of the Topkapi Palace Museum Library. The scrolls were probably intended for an architectural scheme that was never actually realized (which is why they have survived in such relatively good condition), but the reason why they finished up in the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, having originated in Timurid-Turkmen Iran, is obscure.