Islamic Manuscripts : Shāhnāmah


Islamic Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'> A richly illuminated and almost complete copy of the Shahnamah with less than a page missing of its prose introduction, probably copied in the 16th/17th Century C.E. The drop-shaped <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(11);return false;'>Golkonda seal</a> on the first page appears to be that of Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, Sultan of Golkunda, 1565-1612 with the date 1012 [1603/4 C.E.] and a later inscription dated 1091 [1610/11 C.E.]. There is no indication of when the manuscript was completed and no mention of its place of production. The <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(11);return false;'>ex libris</a> on the first page is signed by Chas Wilkins, librarian of the East India Company with the date 15th August 1806, which indicates the manuscript's provenance.<br /><br /> The double page frontispiece depicting <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(12);return false;'>Sulayman enthroned</a> and <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(13);return false;'>Bilqis enthroned</a> is followed by a luxuriously executed double page illumination in gold and polychrome <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(14);return false;'>[2v, 3r]</a>, which ornates the beginning of the introduction and also includes an <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(14);return false;'> ex libris of a royal library</a>. The following eleven miniatures found in the text suggest an unusual choice of scenes and depict in order of their appearance: <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(47);return false;'>Kayumars enthroned</a>, <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(213);return false;'>Guruy executing Siyavusha</a>, <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(263);return false;'>Kay Khusrau appointing Tus to lead an expedition to Turan</a>, <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(318);return false;'>Kamus fighting Giv and Tus</a>, <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(366);return false;'>a full scale battle between the armies of Iran and Turan</a>, <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(448);return false;'>Rustam rescuing Bizhan from the pit</a>, <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(559);return false;'>Luhrasp enthroned</a>, <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(613);return false;'>Isfandiyar's second labour: fighting the lions</a>, <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(683);return false;'>Rustam killing Shaghad before dying</a> and <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(855);return false;'>Bahram Gur killing a dragon in India</a>.<br /><br /> The manuscript is bound in multi-coloured leather with gilded medallions and ornations on the <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(1);return false;'>front</a> and <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(1139);return false;'>back</a> cover and on the <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(1140);return false;'>flap</a>. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> This item was included in the Library’s 600th anniversary exhibition <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''><i>Lines of Thought: Discoveries that changed the world</i></a>. </p>

Want to know more?

Under the 'View more options' menu you can find , any transcription and translation we have of the text and find out about sharing this image.

No Contents List Available
No Metadata Available


If you want to share this page with others you can send them a link to this individual page:
Alternatively please share this page on social media

You can also embed the viewer into your own website or blog using the code below: