Bahram Gur wins the crown, from a Shahnama (Book of kings) by Firdawsi

Manuscript; Shahnama (Book of kings) by Firdawsi; Persian in black nasta’liq script; headings in blue; 684 folios with one double-page frontispiece (fols. 1 verso, 2 recto), 2 sarlawhs (fols.17 verso, 348 verso), one dated colophon (684 recto), 63 paintings 9 fols. 21 recto, 32 verso, 40 verso, 46 recto, 51 verso, 69 verso, 72 verso, 81 recto, 88 recto, 96 verso, 99 verso, 109 verso, 128 verso, 139 recto, 150 verso, 162 verso, 169 verso, 174 recto, 191 verso, 203 recto, 209 verso, 222 verso, 243 verso, 247 recto, 253 verso, 267 recto, 280 verso, 291 recto, 298 recto, 302 verso, 315 recto, 324 verso, 337 verso, 343 verso, 349 verso, 359 verso, 380 verso, 390 recto, 396 verso, 410 verso, 417 recto, 425 recto, 432 recto, 441 verso, 445 recto, 454 verso, 462 recto, 470 recto, 488 verso, 495 verso, 502 recto, 512 recto, 526 verso, 550 recto, 576 verso, 598 verso, 604 recto, 616 verso, 621 verso, 640 verso, 644 recto, 658 recto, 669 verso); illegible seals (fols.1 verso, 2 recto); standard page: four columns, 19 lines of text; one of a group of two: the binding (S1986.58.2) and the manuscript (S1986.58.1) are accessioned separately.
Binding: The manuscript is bound in red leather over paper pasteboards with gold-painted exterior covers and doublures of mottled yellow paper. The envelop flap has a surface and border identical to that on the upper and lower covers.

Maker(s)
Calligrapher: Na'im al-Din Ahmad
Historical period(s)
Safavid period, 1518 (924 A.H.)
Medium
Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 29 x 19.4 cm (11 7/16 x 7 5/8 in)
Geography
Iran, Shiraz
Credit Line
Purchase — Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds, Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program, and Dr. Arthur M. Sackler
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1986.58.1
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Manuscript
Type

Manuscript

Keywords
Henri Vever collection, Iran, nasta'liq script, Safavid period (1501 - 1722), Shahnama, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Description

Manuscript; Shahnama (Book of kings) by Firdawsi; Persian in black nasta'liq script; headings in blue; 684 folios with one double-page frontispiece (fols. 1 verso, 2 recto), 2 sarlawhs (fols.17 verso, 348 verso), one dated colophon (684 recto), 63 paintings 9 fols. 21 recto, 32 verso, 40 verso, 46 recto, 51 verso, 69 verso, 72 verso, 81 recto, 88 recto, 96 verso, 99 verso, 109 verso, 128 verso, 139 recto, 150 verso, 162 verso, 169 verso, 174 recto, 191 verso, 203 recto, 209 verso, 222 verso, 243 verso, 247 recto, 253 verso, 267 recto, 280 verso, 291 recto, 298 recto, 302 verso, 315 recto, 324 verso, 337 verso, 343 verso, 349 verso, 359 verso, 380 verso, 390 recto, 396 verso, 410 verso, 417 recto, 425 recto, 432 recto, 441 verso, 445 recto, 454 verso, 462 recto, 470 recto, 488 verso, 495 verso, 502 recto, 512 recto, 526 verso, 550 recto, 576 verso, 598 verso, 604 recto, 616 verso, 621 verso, 640 verso, 644 recto, 658 recto, 669 verso); illegible seals (fols.1 verso, 2 recto); standard page: four columns, 19 lines of text; one of a group of two: the binding (S1986.58.2) and the manuscript (S1986.58.1) are accessioned separately.
Binding: The manuscript is bound in red leather over paper pasteboards with gold-painted exterior covers and doublures of mottled yellow paper. The envelop flap has a surface and border identical to that on the upper and lower covers.

Inscription(s)

Fol. 684 recto: "by divine guidance of God, the Lord of mercy, inspiring in excellence, greatness, liberality and benevolence. By the hand of this poor slave of God, Na'im al-Din Ahmad b. Mun'im al-Din al-Awhadi al-Husayni. In the holy month of Muharram in the year [A.H.] nine hundred and twenty-four [A.D. January 1518]."

Published References
  • A Zoroastrian Tapestry: Art, Religion and Culture. Ahmedabad, India. folio 21a, p. 148; folio 99, p. 157, folio 21a fig. 1; folio 99, fig. 7.
  • Marianna Shreve Simpson. Islamic Painting and History. vol. 1, no. 4 New York, Fall 1988. p. 2.
  • B. W. Robinson. Fifteenth-Century Persian Painting: Problems and Issues. Hagop Kevorkian Series on Near Eastern Art and Civilization New York. cat. 19, p. 41.
  • Re-Imagining the Collections. Brisbane, February 2006. p. 51.
  • John Renard. Islam and the Heroic Image: Themes in Literature and the Visual Arts. Studies in Comparative Religion Columbia, South Carolina. pp. 75-6, 213-14, figs. 4, 15.
  • Glenn D. Lowry, Milo Cleveland Beach, Elisabeth West FitzHugh, Susan Nemanzee, Janet Snyder. An Annotated and Illustrated Checklist of the Vever Collection. Washington and Seattle. cat. 112, pp. 96-106.
  • Glenn D. Lowry, Susan Nemanzee. A Jeweler's Eye: Islamic Arts of the Book from the Vever Collection. Washington and Seattle. cat. 24-26, pp. 110-115.
  • Bernard O'Kane. Rock Faces and Rock Figures in Persian Painting. vol. 4, 1990-1991. cat. 100, p. 234.
  • The Baburnama: Memoirs of Babur, Prince and Emperor. Washington and New York. p. 235.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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