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Shahnama Project : Shahnama


Shahnama Project

<p style='text-align: justify;'><p>The manuscript was examined briefly by Ch.M. in June 2006 and some working images taken by kind permission of Bill Lang. The record is also based on the account of Simsar, pp. 85-7, which lists the 15 miniature paintings and includes 3 b/w reproductions (ff. 73r, 251v, 470v).One particular problem here (common to most of the other mss in the Free Library collection) is the fact that the ms. has not been paginated properly; several old schemes seem to have started but not been completed, and the only set of numerals to continue right through to the end is an Indian number in mid-page on the verso side (sic). Another numeration is found in the top left side of the recto pages, but carried not through to the end.Until this is dealt with, the catalogue here refers to the mid-page number, and the equivalent in Simsar will be referred to as appropriate; or (often different again), the foliation on the top left corner of the recto side. (The sample page is thus f. 86r according to the Indian numbers, f. 90r according to the top left).The binding is of native brown morocco, with silver-tooled panels on the sides and flowers on the back. The text is written on native brownish bombacyne paper, with marginal rulings in gold, red and green, on new margins. Rubrics are in red (Simsar). The ms. is very fragile and in poor repair, many of the text blocks are lifting along the lines of the frames. It is now stored in a handsome box.There is no Preface and the volume starts with the normative opening of the poem on f. 1v, on a double illuminated carpet page (ff. 1v-2r). The text is divided into four books, each with an illuminated title page (ff. 1v, 154v, 333v, 454v), preceded by blank pages. Simsar notes that there may once have been an additional painting opposite what is now fol. 381v, which is decorated in the same way as other pages facing miniature paintings, with the text embellished by setting some of the verses in decorated and gilded panels.The first and last pages (f. 1r and 561v) contain several seals, of which Simsar (pp. 86-7) identifies the following:1. &apos;Abd al-Qadir Khanazada-yi Padshah-i Ghazi, 1140/1727.2. Salah al-Din Khan, Fidawi-yi Padshah-i Ghazi, 1145/1732.3. Saif al-Mulk, Nusrat al-Daula, Sayyid Najabat Khan Bahadur Sipahdar-i Jang, 1169/1755.4. Badr al-Daula Shuja&apos; al-Mulk Sa&apos;adatmand Khan, Muhammad Bahadur, 1245/1829.5. Muhr-i Niyabat Qadi Afdal-&apos;Ali b. Najaf-&apos;Ali, 1289/1872.Simsar notes also other inscriptions, indicating its purchase from the Royal Mughal Library (in 1290/1873), and suggests that it was written for Muhammad Shah (1719-48), who first presented it to &apos;Abd al-Qadir Khan.</p></p>

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