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Shahnama Project : Shahnama


Shahnama Project

<p style='text-align: justify;'><p>The lacquer binding is of a light olive green framed within three borders, the central one dark red and the two outer ones in black. The field on the covers depicts planets and heavenly bodies, shown in the form of men and women in various poses, sometimes riding animals (see the detailed description by Simsar); the cover contains the date 1232/1817, though a pencil note on the flyleaf states that the ms. was purchased in Agra, and that the cover is dated 1745. The doublures are of crimson red with a large narcissus painted in gold, framed in gold rulings. The sale catalogue is bound into the flyleaves, stating that this is vol. 2 of the Shahnama only; but according to the colophon on f. 144v, this is &apos;daftar three&apos; , indicating that the ms. was originally part of a four-fold division of the text; it ends with the story of Bahram Gur.</p><p>There is an illuminated unvan on f. 1v, over the start of the text, which begins with the reign of Gushtasp. The paper is dull brown: medium weight, glazed and of strong texture (Simsar); the catchwords are in place throughout. The text block is framed in an outer margin of a single blue line, and an inner margin of thin blue, space, thin tomato red, space, two thin black with gold, thick gold, and thin black lines. The columns are of two thin black with gold lines and the intervening space left plain. The rubrics are in red, in plain boxes framed in two thin black with gold lines.</p><p>The manuscript is generally in good condition. Simsar notes that many pages are stained by damp, and eaten by insects. The manuscript has been rebound and the corners of the folios cut off in the process. It is now stored in a nice red box.</p><p>Simsar considers that the manuscript &apos;looks older&apos; than the miniatures and illuminations, which he dates to the late 18th century. He does not give a list of the 13 &apos;brightly coloured miniatures of late Mughal style&apos; contained in the manuscript. These are generally preceded by passages of chalipa (diagonal) script.</p><p>There is some evidence that the ms. was copied from an incomplete or damaged ms. - on f. 118r, various verses and parts of lines are omitted, though the page itself is in good condition.</p><p>The ms. was paginated by Ch. Melville in November 2008.</p><p>See the catalogue by Simsar, pp. 87-8.</p></p>

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