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Shahnama Project : Shahnama


Shahnama Project

<p style='text-align: justify;'><p>Although Simsar gave folio numbers for his list of paintings, the ms. was not paginated. This was done by Ch. Melville on 10 November 2008, following a preliminary recording of the ms. in June 2006, leading to some corrections in the printed catalogue (which is two folios out, most of the way, and three at the end).</p><p>This is one of the "truncated" copies of the Shahnama identified by Karin Ruhrdanz, which therefore places it in the late 16th century. These copies are characterised by the inclusion of a number of the "interpolated" epics and by the fact that they finish with the story of Iskandar.</p><p>The codex is rebound in a Persian gold stamped shagreen binding (360 x 250 mm), somewhat worn, and with some of the illuminations rubbed off. The outside covers show a blind-pressed&nbsp;medallion with pendants above and below and harmonised corner angles, all gracefully decorated with tendril traceries and dusted with gold. The doublures are lined with plain [orange] paper&nbsp;(Simsar). The paper is sometimes very thick and creamy, especially the pages with paintings.</p><p>The ms. begins (ff. 1v-2r) with a double illuminated carpet-page, for&nbsp;the &apos;older&apos; (Abu Mansuri) preface (ff. 1v-7r), including the satire on Sultan Mahmud. The Shahnama text starts on f. 7v under an exquisite unvan. The rubrics are in red, blue or gold on a plain ground.</p><p>The gathering marks for the binding of the leaves are irregular; they are to be seen on top left corner of the recto page, starting with sheets with the final digit 4, up to 203-213-223r, resuming at 268 through to 301, and to 409, then 418.</p><p>The margins of the ms. have not been entirely cleanly trimmed, leaving visible the instructions for the wording of the rubrics on the edges of the page, e.g. at ff. 20r, 38r, 79r, 197r, 216r etc.</p><p>Most of the paintings are preceded by passages of chalipa (diagonal) script, but this is a decorative feature that occurs also throughout the ms., not simply where there are paintings (e.g. f. 333). Fol. 137r has an inner and an outer marginal ruling.</p><p>See the catalogue by Simsar, pp. 77-79.</p></p>

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