عنوان مقاله [English]
The question in maintaining and restoring the old objects always is what the main components of these objects are. Since past few years the use of spectroscopy via the adept instruments to determine the pigments and constituents of works of art has been common in all over the world. Especially chemists have numerous papers on precious works of art kept in significant museums like Louvre and British Museum and et cetera. In Iran although the available exquisite written cultural heritage has been explored and studied, an extensive study that answers the needs has not yet been undertaken and the data are not yet practically used by the experts. Therefore this paper endeavors to look at saffron from a different angle and explore the application of this beneficial plant in unique manuscript decorations.
The aim of the present investigation is to determine the period and the method to apply saffron in the arts of book through the study of various methods of using saffron color in the arts of book.
The research method is Longitudinal comparative. To gather the data, old calligraphy manuscripts, books on arts of book and papers on the use of the colors in arts of book have been studied and contemporary expert craftsmen in this field have been consulted. The results indicated that saffron has been used in calligraphy, paper coloring, illumination and layouts. Saffron has been applied in an extended time span from the 3rd century H./ 9th century A.D. to 12th century H./ 18th century A.D. in Quran manuscripts decoration mainly to depict the beginnings and endings of ayahs, to inscribe surah beginnings, and to draw the linings. One of the significant reasons for the use of saffron and other different colors in Quran scripture was to highlight the parts which were not included in the original script of Quran and were added later as well as the significance and sacredness attributed to saffron in popular culture.
The saffron can also be used in Motavvas (peacock) ink, of which one quality is its transparent nature, so that it is absorbed by the paper and does not remain as distinct layers. Saffron can also be used to prevent the destructive effects of verdigris. It is also indicated that the non-Quranic manuscripts date back to Timurid and Safavid eras, therefore the use of saffron was widespread in these eras. This survey is an introduction which needs to be followed by instrumental methods and spectra analysis to prove the application of saffron in decoration of selected manuscripts.