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Folio from a Shahnama (Book of kings) by Firdawsi (d.1020); Rustam before Kay Ka'us

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 1

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At A Glance

  • Period

    3rd quarter of 15th century
  • Geography

    Possibly India
  • Material

    Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
  • Dimension

    H x W: 29 x 23.8 cm (11 7/16 x 9 3/8 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Detached folio from a dispersed copy of the Shahnama (Book of kings) by Firdawsi; Rustam before Key Kaus; text: Persian in black nasta'liq script; four columns of text; one of a group of two folios.
    Border: The painting and the text are set in gold, blue, and white rulings mounted on a gold-sprinkled paperboard.
  • Inscriptions

    -(on backside) written in pencil, "1229"
    -(on backside) written in pencil, "1229"
  • Provenance

    Indjoudjian Frères, method of acquisition unknown [1]
    Sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot "Objets d'art proche-orient des grandes époques ... provenant de la collection de Indjoudjian" December 19, 1932, lot 23 [2]
    Henri Vever (1854-1942), method of acquisition unknown [3]
    Jeanne Louise Monthiers (1861-1947), bequest of Henri Vever [4]
    Francois Mautin (1907-2003), bequest of Jeanne Louise Monthiers and Henri Vever [5]
    From 1986
    Arthur M. Sackler Gallery purchased from Francois Mautin [6]
    [1] See auction catalogue cited in note 2. Indjoudjian Frères was an antiquities dealership based in Paris and New York, owned by the Armenian-born brothers Agop (1871-1951) and Meguerditch (1884-1927).
    [2] See Hôtel Drouot "Objets d'art Proche-Orient des grandes époques ... provenant de la collection de Indjoudjian" [auction catalogue] (Paris: December 19, 1932), lot 23. The folio is described as « LE HEROS ROUSTEM devant un souverain dans un jardin. Très belle coloration à fond d'or. Enluminure persane de la fin du XIVe siècle ou du commencement du XVe. » See also marks on reverse of painting.
    An accomplished French jeweler and collector, Henri Vever (1854-1942) amassed a large and impressive collection of
    works of art during his lifetime. His holdings in Japanese prints and Islamic arts of the books, especially from Iran and India,
    were among the most important assembled in the early twentieth century.
    [4] Upon Henri Vever's death on September 25, 1942, his wife, Jeanne Louise Monthiers inherited the work. See exhibits F and G of Agreement of Purchase and Sale of the Henri Vever Collection, January 9, 1986, copy in object file.
    [5] Upon the death of Jeanne Louise Monthiers, as stipulated in the will of Henri Vever, the family's assets were divided evenly between his two grandchildren. His only grandson, Francois Mautin inherited the collection known as "The Henri Vever Collection of Oriental Art and Manuscripts Including Persian and Indian Art and Manuscripts." This work is part of that collection. See exhibits F and G as cited in note 4.
    [6] The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery purchased the entirety of the collection from Francois Mautin on January 9, 1986. See purchase agreement, copy in object file.
    Research completed May 4, 2022.
  • Collection

    Arthur M. Sackler Collection
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Francois Mautin (1907-2003)
    Jeanne Louise Monthiers (1861-1947)
    Henri Vever (1854-1942)
    Indjoudjian Freres
    Agop Indjoudjian (1871-1951)
  • Origin

    Possibly India
  • Credit Line

    Purchase — Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds, Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program, and Dr. Arthur M. Sackler
  • Type

  • Restrictions and Rights

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