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Shahnama Project : Shahnama


Shahnama Project

<p style='text-align: justify;'><p>The recording of this ms. is based on inspections by Ch.M. in June 2006, and by B.M. in December 2008, and on the catalogue of Simsar (p. 91), which is brief and does not list the 68 paintings contained in the copy.</p><p>The binding is of heavy dark maroon leather, richly embossed in gilt on the outside. The doublures are lined with plain paper (Simsar).</p><p>The manuscript, which was paginated in December 2008, contains 630 folios. It has been reserved in complete order, and all of its catch-words fit.</p><p>Simsar notes several blank pages preceding each section (daftar): the work is divided into four sections, each beginning with an illuminated unvan (ff. 1v, 178v, 334v and 507v). There is no Preface to this copy.</p><p>The ms. is on thin glazed native paper (Simsar). Marginal rulings are in blue and gold, and the columns are filled with an alternating blue and red ground, decorated with gold leaf designs.</p><p>The day and month of completion are given at the end (f. 629r); the year (1244 A.H.) is given on f. 177v, at the end of the first daftar. The colophon also contains details of the place of copying, in the quarter (mahalla) of Zadi Bal in the town (balda) of Simundu in Kashmir.</p><p>Simsar ascribes the paintings to be the work of a single artist. Nonetheless, it seems as though at least two artists of different styles illustrated the manuscript. Painter A illustrated fols. 65v, 211v, 341r, 396r, etc., while among the works of Painter B are fols. 88r, 556v, 159v, 474v.</p><p>The style of Painter A is also apparent in the Free Library&apos;s ms. O.57. It is therefore possible that this painter illustrated both mss. O.57 and O.59. The iconographies of Painter B are quite repetitve. For example, the scene in which Rustam wounds Suhrab (fol. 106v) is almost identical to the illustration where Rustam kills Sudaba (fol. 142r).</p><p>A few working images made by Ch.M. on 8 June 2006, by kind permission of Bill Lang. The rest were taken in December 2008 by kind permission of Mrs. Janine Pollock.</p></p>

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