ĀQĀ ZANJĀNĪ, MĪRZĀ, also known as Ḵamsaʾī, a calligrapher active between 1286/1869-70 and 1307/1890. He belonged to the retinue of the grand vizier Āqā Ebrāhīm Amīn-al-solṭān and his son ʿAlī-Aṣḡar Khan Amīn-al-solṭān Atābak-e Aʿẓam. He is said to have instructed ʿAlī-Aṣḡar Khan and his brother Esmāʿīl Khan Amīn-al-molk in calligraphy. Principal examples of his work are found in architectural inscriptions that commemorate the benefactions of Āqā Ebrāhīm and ʿAlī-Aṣḡar Khan to the shrines of Qom and Mašhad. Mašhad inscriptions range in date from 1275/1858-59 to 1306/1888- 89, encompassing the patronage of both Āqā Ebrāhīm and ʿAlī-Aṣḡar Khan. The ones in Qom, dated 1303/1885-86 and 1304/1886-87, commemorate the addition of a new court, known as the ṣaḥn-e now, to the shrine of Fāṭema Maʿṣūma on the eastern side of the shrine complex. It was begun in 1295/1878 under Āqā Ebrāhīm and was completed under the patronage of ʿAlī-Aṣḡar Khan. He designed inscriptions for the courtyard facade as well as for its eastern doorway and its north and south ayvāns. Of particular interest is the inscription of the courtyard facade, written in nastaʿlīq on white and yellow glazed tiles. It consists of two qaṣīdas in praise of Āqā Ebrāhīm and ʿAlī-Aṣḡar Khan composed by Abu’l-Naṣr Fatḥallāh Khan Šaybānī.
Mīrzā Āqā’s son, Moḥammad-Ḥosayn was also a prominent calligrapher. He was appointed to teach calligraphy to the Qajar prince, Moẓaffar-al-dīn Mīrzā, and was given the title of ḵošnevīs-bāšī. He remained active as a calligrapher and teacher until his death in 1328 Š./1949.
Bayānī, Ḵošnevīsān, pp. 2-3.
ʿAlī Rāhīīrī, Taḏkera-ye ḵošnevīsān-e moʿāṣer (printed in one volume with ʿAbd-al-Moḥammad Khan Īrānī, Ḵaṭṭ o ḵaṭṭāṭān), Tehran, 1146 Š./1967, pp. 81-82.
ʿA. Fayż, Ganǰīna-ye āṯār-e Qom I, 1349 Š./1970, pp. 579-85.
H. Fażāʾelī, Aṭlas-e ḵaṭṭ, Isfahan, 1350 Š./1971, p. 588.
Moḥammad-Ḥosayn, Tārīḵ-eQom, Qom, n.d., pp. 104-09.
(P. P. Soucek)
Originally Published: December 15, 1986
Last Updated: August 9, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. II, Fasc. 2, p. 183
P. P. Soucek, “ĀQĀ ZANJĀNĪ,” Encyclopaedia Iranica, II/2, p. 183, available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/aqa-zanjani-mirza (accessed on 30 December 2012).