Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

IO Islamic 3540 (St. Pancras, British Library)

Asian and African Studies

Contents

1 copy of Shāhnāmah by 2 authors

An exquisite and gorgeously illuminated copy of Firdawsī's Shāhnāmah, which belonged formerly to Warren Hastings (1732-1818)

Language(s): Persian

References

For a more detailed description see Ethe 1903-1937, no 2992.
For a more detailed description see Robinson 1976 , page 124-136.

Physical Description

Form: codex
569
Dimensions (leaf): 45.7 × 29.2 cm.

Layout

Each column besides surrounded by stripes in gold and various colours

Hand(s)

Exquisite nastaʿlīq

Decoration

4 illuminations

57 miniatures

Every chapter-heading very neatly adorned

Double-page miniature within a gorgeous illuminated border, of Salomon and the Queen of Sheba, a large and crowded composition; the execution is meticulous, but the drawing of the faces a trifle weak. Each half (miniature only) 29.5 × 17.5 cm. .

Bath scene, illustrating the story in the preface of how Firdawsi scornfully gave away to a bath house attendant half the paltry reward Sultan Mahmud gave him for writing the Shahnama. 32.5 × 21.5 cm. .

Gayumarth and his court. 27 × 21.5 cm. .

Faridun strikes down Zahhak in the palace in the presence of Jamshid's sisters. 32 × 21.5 cm. .

Tur defeated and killed by Minuchihr. 30 × 21.5 cm. .

Zal embracing Rudaba. 29.5 × 23 cm. .

The birth of Rustam. 29.5 × 21.5 cm. .

Rustam and the White Demon. 30.5 × 21.5 cm. .

The death of Suhrab. 30.5 × 21.5 cm. .

The fire-ordeal of Siyawush. 29.5 × 20.5 cm. .

Siyawush playing polo with Afrasiyab. 27 × 22.5 .

The murder of Siyawush. 29.5 × 25.5 cm. .

Rustam in battle against Afrasiyab. 33.5 × 27 cm. .

The enthronement of Kay Khusraw. 28 × 20.5 cm. .

Persian troops sacking Farud's castle. 35 × 25.5 cm. .

The battle of Mount Hamawan between the armies of Gudarz and Piran. 36 × 27 cm. .

Ruhham and the Sorcerer. 36 × 27 cm. .

Combat of Rustam and Ashkabus. 34.5 × 28 cm. .

Rustam in battle, after being visited by Piran. 33.5 × 25.5 cm. .

Rustam attacking the fortress of Kafur the man-eater. 36 × 25.5 cm. .

Piran saves Bizhan from the gallows. 30 × 20.5 cm. .

Rustam's raid on Afrasiyab's palace after rescuing Bizhan. 29.5 × 21 cm. .

Barzu lassoing Faramurz. 33.5 × 22.5 cm. .

Combat of Rustam and Barzu. 33.5 × 28 cm. .

Encounter of Afrasiyab and Pilsam. 33.5 × 25.5 cm. .

Rustam falls in combat with Pilsam. The latter being kicked by Rakhsh. 36 × 29.5 cm. .

Human slain by Bizhan. 36 × 25.5 cm. .

Combat of Giw and Piran. 32.5 × 27 cm. .

Rustam leading the Persian army to war with Afrasiyab. 34.5 × 25.5 cm. .

Kay Khusraw slays Ustuqila the Kurd. 36 × 28 cm. .

The women of Afrasiyab before Kay Khusraw. 30.5 × 23 cm. .

Execution of Afrasiyab by Kay Khusraw. 30.5 × 22.5 cm. .

Double-page miniature within a sumptuous illuminated border. The enthronement of Luhrasp. Each half 27 × 16 cm. .

Gushtasp killing the dragon. 30.5 × 21 cm. .

Death of Zarir in battle between Iran and Turan. 34.5 × 28 cm. .

Isfandiyar's attack on Arjasp in the Brazen Fortress. 34.5 × 27 cm. .

Rustam shoots Isfandiyar in the eyes. 34.5 × 24.5 cm. .

The death of Rustam. 33.5 × 22.5 cm. .

Iskandar comforting the dying Dara. 30.5 × 24.5 cm. .

Iskandar visiting the Ka'ba. 35 × 21.5 cm. .

Iskandar building the wall against Gog and Magog. 30.5 × 23 cm. .

Bahram Gur winning the crown from between the lions. 31.5 × 21.5 cm. .

Bahram Gur hunting. 30.5 × 23 cm. .

Bahram leading the Khaqan captive. 36.5 × 27 cm. .

Battle between Piruz and Khushnawaz. 32.5 × 27 cm. .

Capture of the Roman fortress by Nushirwan. 34.5 × 22.5 cm. .

Battle between the Khaqan and the Haytalians. 37 × 25.5 cm. .

Introduction of chess at the court of Nushirwan. 34.5 × 22.5 cm. .

Nushirwan attacking a moated Roman fortress. 38 × 21.5 cm. .

Sawa Shah slain by Bahram Chubina. 34.5 × 27 cm. .

The blinding of King Hurmuz and burning of his palace. 34.5 × 23 cm. .

Khusraw embracing Maryam. 34.5 × 20.5 cm. .

Bahram Chubina killing the lion-ape. 35 × 22.5 cm. .

Khusraw and Gurdiya, sister of Bahram Chubina. 34.5 × 20.5 cm. .

Shirwi sends an envoy to Khusraw. 36 × 24.5 cm. .

Rustam killed by Sa'ad at the battle of Qadisiyya. 34 × 25.5 cm. .

Double-page miniature within a sumptuous illuminated border: hunting scene. Upper part of 568v damaged and repaired. Each half 28 × 17.5 cm. .

History

Origin: Shiraz (Iran); 16th century CE

Record Sources

Manuscript description based on H. Ethé: Catalogue of Persian manuscripts in the Library of the India Office. Oxford, 1903-1937.

Availability

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

Funding of Cataloguing

BL


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