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The art of Qattai (Scrapping) is eloquent of distinct elegance, concentration and overflowing talent of the Iranian artist. The old Qattai works help us determine the genesis of this art which can date back to early 9th century A.H. Undoubtedly this art is regarded as a specific branch of calligraphy as most of the survived pieces bear calligraphic themes.
Other samples of Qattai works are reticulated illuminations (Tazhib) upon scorched book-covers of Taimurid and Safavid era. You can see a wonderful specimen of such an artwork in this picture.It seems that one impetus behind inception of this art has been the display of colorful calligraphic works upon color backgrounds to give them a unique appearance, although the intense difficulty behind its creation is expressive of the artist's extraordinary precision to challenge other artists' emulation. There exists a variety of Qattai methods in the works of the precursors. Yet, the prevalent category of this art involves cutting letters and words from color paper and gluing it on a background of a different color. A wonderful example of such work is a Chalipa (a calligraphic theme) of verse lines written by Soltan-Ali Mashadi and masterfully scrapped (Qattaied) by Doostmehr Qotta' (Golshan Album).The picture above introduces another fine piece of similar method scrapped with great virtuosity by Mehdi-Sharif Shirazi which is currently preserved in a private collection.Here you see a precious work from one of the pages of Golshan Album, scrapped in a unique manner, in the form of male and female pieces: a line of pleasant blue paper is cut and pasted on a white paper, and yet the scrapped piece of calligraphy is beautifully presented thereupon.This is an exquisite piece of Qattai by Mansoor-Ali dated 1030 A.H. (17th century) in which the calligraphy is cut and marvelously inlaid in the background cardboard. Because it demands over-meticulousness and extravagant delicacy, Qattai has bred too few artists and too rare artworks. However, a small number of contemporary artists still turn to this abandoned art to simulate its vintage past.