18th Century Persian Illuminated Medical Text on Gastronomy, with Bird Motif, ca. 1780. With Persican (Farsi) script on front and reverse which is viewable through glass. 15 1/2" x 11 3/4". In excellent condition. Ex: Antiques of Locust Valley collection, New York. Illuminated manuscripts in Persia did not really develop as an art until the end of the thirteenth, beginning of the fourteenth centuries known as the Timurd period. When the book culture did begin in Central Asia, Persia became the foundation as they had numerous poems and novels already written (besides medical and religious works), such as the Shahnama (The Book of the Kings). Before the thirteenth century, manuscripts did exist, but they were primarily accounts recorded for kings. The few other works written were mostly books of poetry or religious books. Most of these early books did not survive due to the fact of many invasions (Mongols, Muslims, Turks to name a few) and the fact that most of these documents were written on paper. Persia began using paper before the eighth century (when it was introduced to Europe). Paper was preferred above parchment due to the way that the paints would cover the page. For Persians, it was not just a matter of having a beautiful image in their manuscripts, but how the colors balanced, the images and text would balance. This balance (or harmony) was a constant theme in the way Persians made and painted their manuscripts.