Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Or 15602 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

Oriental Manuscripts

Popular paintings


A bound collection of eight archaistic modern coloured and gilt drawings on card, chiefly illustrating scenes and persons of renown from Persian history and literature.

Apart from the captions, which are contained in gilt cartouches above each picture, there is no text, except in 1v, in which an architectural inscription includes the words [?] Shāh ‘Abbās sanah 123. There is scant artistic merit in this work, which may have been made for the tourist market and was acquired at auction together with an Arabic manuscript.

The subjects of the ‘tableaux’ (majlis) are as follows. 1 (f.1v): Manūchihr. 2 (2r): Yūsuf (the Prophet Joseph) with ‘the King of Egypt’ (Pharaoh). 3 (2v): Shāh ‘Abbās. 4 (3r): Yūsuf and Zulaykhā. 5 (3v): Dārā (the Emperor Darius). 6 (4r): A newly wed couple sitting together. 7 (4v): King Kay-Kāvūs. 8 (5r): King Jamshīd. Folio 1r, the front cover, is blank but for a few scribbled words and numbers; 5v, the back cover, is blank.

Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Off-white paper of medium thickness, well sized. Stout card, with some discolouration.
Extent: 5 ff.
Dimensions (leaf): 210 × 131 mm.






Red overlinings. 11 lines. Text frames: black, gold, black; black, gold (wide), gold; blue; black, gold, black. Illuminated heading, f. 1v; interlinear gilding (floral scroll), 1v-2r.



The folios are held together with hinges of canvas.


Origin: 20th century CE ; Iran

Provenance and Acquisition


Acquired from Christies sale 13 April 2000, part of lot 211

Record Sources

Based on unpublished description in M.I. Waley, Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts acquired 2000-2014.


Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card for admissions procedures contact British Library, Registering for a Reader Pass. Contact apac-enquiries@bl.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript. For information on catalogues and ordering manuscripts see Finding and ordering Persian manuscripts in the British Library.

Funding of Cataloguing



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