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Ms. Minutoli 134
Berlin, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (in index)
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© Berlin, Staatsbibliotheek zu Berlin - Preussischer Kulturbesitz - Orientabteilung
Accession Number:
Ms. Minutoli 134
Hijri Date:
1245 Shawwal 15
Gregorian Date:
1830 April 9
Julius Freiherr von Minutoli, son of the Prussian general-lieutenant Johann Heinrich Freiherr von Minutoli travelled in 1860 with a Prussian mission to Teheran, where he visited Nasir al-Din Shah. During his stay in Tehran, Hamadan, Isfahan and Shiraz he was able to buy valuable manuscripts. Minutoli died in a caravansarai near Shiraz at the end of the year 1860, but the mission brought back the mss to the Staatsbibliothek. His father left the Staatsbibliothek a number of mss in 1820.
Folios extant in ms.:
Columns x Rows:
4 x 25
Page Size (h x w):
305 x 175 mm
Text Size (h x w):
225 x 120 mm
Colophon Folio:
Sample Page Folio:
Num Other Colophons:
Ms Type:
Ms Status:
Completion Status:
Ready to upload to website
Illuminations in ms:
Illustrations in ms:
98 ( 90 Shahnama 1 Garshaspnama 6 Barzunama 1 other [ Firdausi and Mahmud ] )
Illustration Records in archive:
Last updated by:
Date last updated:
0000-00-00 00:00:00
Public Notes
Manuscripts from the Minutoli series were obtained in Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz and Hamadan in 1860-61 by an expedition lead by J. F. von Minutoli and K. H. Brugsch and purchased by the library in several portions.

The decoration of the manuscript is in accordance with date (15 Shawwal 1245) and region (khitta-yi Kashmir), as indicated in the colophon. Its covers (no flap) are made from lacquered cardboard, the outside painted on a golden ground with large flowers in the central area and tendrils in the borders. On the inside they show a bouquet on a red ground framed by a scalloped arch.

The epic (without a preface) starts on a double-page frontispiece carefully executed in deep blue, gold, orange, some purple, black and white. Apart from the two lobed triangles at the right and left there are two more above and beneath the text area split between the two pages. The background as well as the larger decorative units, including four palmette-like shapes in the corners, is filled with flowering tendrils. Four small cartouches within the border immediately framing the text panels contain the Basmalla, the title of the book and the name of the author.

The manuscript is divided into four parts (beginning ff. 1v, 155v, 314v and 474v) each provided with a heading which repeats decorative elements of the opening. The interpolated story of Barzu is not specially marked. The volume contains 98 text illustrations. Four fifths of the pictures illustrate the first two parts of the text. The extensive illustrative cycle comprises a number of lesser known subjects and some unusual pictorial solutions, including the last miniature that shows a veiled and haloed hero fighting the Persian commander Rustam.

The relatively large illustrations allow for differentiated landscape and architectural backgrounds. Landscape is composed of strongly coloured areas, specified as meadows, hills, mountains and sky placed one above the other. Composition concentrates on the narrative, with few additional figures. Among the stereotyped faces and figures some faces of older heroes awaiting death exhibit a more realistic expression of emotions.

(Karin Ruhrdanz)


W. Pertsch, Die Handschriftenverzeichnisse der königlichen Bibliothek zu Berlin, 4: Verzeichnis der persischen Handschriften, Berlin, 1888, pp. 731-2, no. 700.

I. Stchoukine, B. Flemming, P. Luft & H. Sohrweide, Illuminierte islamische Handschriften, Wiesbaden, 1971, 201-5, no. 73.

For a general assessment of Kashmirian painting of the late 18th/early 19th century see A. Adamova & T. Greck (Grek), Miniatures from Kashmirian manuscripts, Leningrad, 1976.

Dating Ref:
Colophon Extracted from the colophon of the work.
Origin Ref:
Colophon Extracted from the colophon of the work.
Illustration Ref:
Stchoukine, I. et al. Illuminierte Islamische Handschriften. (in Orientalische Handschriften in Deutschland) 16 (1971) Franz Steiner Verlag GMBH. Wiesbaden. Germany.
Illustration in archive - 99     (back to top)
sample page
f. 004r
Firdausi and his book introduced to Sultan Mahmud (1830)
f. 007r
Zahhak murders his father Mirdas (1830)
f. 009r
Scene from the Garshaspnama (1830)
f. 013r
Jamshid sawn in half before Zahhak (1830)
f. 019r
Zahhak bound on mount Damavand (1830)
f. 024v
The murder of Iraj (1830)
f. 032r
The Simurgh bids farewell to Sam's son (1830)
f. 041v
Zal goes as an envoy to Manuchihr (1830)
f. 047v
Rustam kills Zal's white elephant (1830)
f. 054r
Afrasiyab executes Nauzar (1830)
f. 060v
Kay Kavus enthroned (1830)
f. 063v
Rustam's first labour: Rakhsh kills a lion (1830)
f. 064v
Rustam's third labour: he kills a dragon (1830)
f. 065v
Rustam's fourth labour: he kills the witch (1830)
f. 066v
Rustam's fifth labour: he lassoes Aulad (1830)
f. 068r
Rustam's seventh labour: he kills the White Div (1830)
f. 076r
Kay Kavus airborne (1830)
f. 082r
Suhrab fights Gurdafarid (1830)
f. 090r
Rustam mortally wounds Suhrab (1830)
f. 094r
The maiden is presented to Kay Kavus (1830)
f. 099r
The fire ordeal of Siyavush (1830)
f. 110r
Siyavush marries Farangis (1830)
f. 114r
Siyavush shows his skills before Garsivaz (1830)
f. 118v
Guruy executes Siyavush (1830)
f. 126r
Rustam fights Afrasiyab, Human and the Turanians (1830)
f. 134v
Kay Kavus receives Kay Khusrau on his arrival from Turan (1830)
f. 146r
Farud shoots Bizhan's horse from under him (1830)
f. 153r
Giv captures Tazhav (1830)
f. 159v
Ruhham overcomes Bazur the Turanian wizard (1830)
f. 167v
Kamus fights Giv and Tus (1830)
f. 170v
Rustam kills Ashkabus and his horse (1830)
f. 172v
Rustam captures and kills Kamus (1830)
f. 179v
Rustam fights Sava (1830)
f. 180r
Rustam kills Gahar Gahani (1830)
f. 181v
Rustam pulls the Khaqan of Chin from his elephant by lasso (1830)
f. 191r
Akvan Div flings Rustam into the sea (1830)
f. 197r
Piran stays the execution of Bizhan (1830)
f. 205r
Rustam rescues Bizhan from the pit (1830)
f. 212v
Scene from the Barzunama (1830)
f. 219v
Scene from the Barzunama (1830)
f. 230v
Barzu's mother prevents Rustam from killing Barzu (1830)
f. 240v
Scene from the Barzunama (1830)
f. 245v
Scene from the Barzunama (1830)
f. 249v
Scene from the Barzunama (1830)
f. 260v
Bizhan kills Human (1830)
f. 271vA
The first combat: Fariburz kills Gulbad (1830)
f. 271vB
Giv defeats and binds Guruy Zirih (1830)
f. 272r
The third combat: Guraza kills Siyamak by throwing him to the ground (1830)
f. 272vA
The fourth combat: Furuhil kills Zangala (1830)
f. 272vB
The fifth combat: Ruhham kills Barman (1830)
f. 273r
The sixth combat: Bizhan kills Ruyin (1830)
f. 273vA
Hujir leads away the horse and body of Sipahram (1830)
f. 273vB
The eighth combat: Zanga kills Akhvasht (1830)
f. 274r
The ninth combat: Gurgin kills Andariman (1830)
f. 274v
The tenth combat: Barta kills Kuhram (1830)
f. 275r
The eleventh combat: Gudarz kills Piran (1830)
f. 277v
Bizhan goes after Gustaham (1830)
f. 287r
Kay Khusrau kills Shida (1830)
f. 294v
Kay Khusrau gives a safe conduct to Afrasiyab's family (1830)
f. 303v
Hum captures Afrasiyab (1830)
f. 311v
Kay Khusrau gives up his throne to Luhrasp (1830)
f. 319v
Gushtasp kills a dragon in Rum (1830)
f. 330r
Bidarafsh kills Zarir, the brother of Gushtasp (1830)
f. 335r
The death of Luhrasp in battle against the forces of Arjasp (1830)
f. 340v
Isfandiyar's first labour: he fights the wolves (1830)
f. 341v
Isfandiyar's third labour: he fights the dragon (1830)
f. 342v
Isfandiyar's fourth labour: he kills the sorceress (1830)
f. 343v
Isfandiyar's fifth labour: he kills the Simurgh (1830)
f. 347v
Isfandiyar kills Arjasp to rescue his sisters (1830)
f. 360v
Zavara and Faramarz kill Isfandiyar's sons Nush-Azar and Mihr-i Nush (1830)
f. 364r
Rustam shoots Isfandiyar in the eyes with a double-pointed arrow (1830)
f. 369v
Rustam kills Shaghad before dying (1830)
f. 372v
The execution of Faramarz (1830)
f. 381v
Iskandar attends the dying Dara (1830)
f. 384v
Iskandar marries Raushanak (1830)
f. 387v
Kayd gets his daughter ready for Iskandar (1830)
f. 393r
Iskandar visits Qaydafa disguised as a messenger (1830)
f. 398r
Iskandar sends a letter to the women of Hurum (1830)
f. 401v
Iskandar returns from China (1830)
f. 415r
Mihrak's daughter converses with Shapur (1830)
f. 420r
Shapur son of Ardashir enthroned (1830)
f. 428v
The King of Rum captive before Shapur (1830)
f. 438v
Bahram Gur fights two lions to win the throne (1830)
f. 446r
Bahram Gur with Barzin's daughters (1830)
f. 453v
Bahram Gur captures the Khaqan of Chin (1830)
f. 464v
Bahram Gur bequeaths his kingdom to Yazdagird (1830)
f. 470r
Qubad arrested and replaced by Jamasp (1830)
f. 484r
Nushzad killed in battle with Ram Barzin (1830)
f. 497r
Buzurjmihr demonstrates how to play the game of chess (1830)
f. 502r
Aushirvan's third majlis for Buzurjmihr (1830)
f. 508v
Mihran Sitad asks the Khaqan to give his daughter to Anushirvan as a wife (1830)
f. 520v
Hurmuzd enthroned (1830)
f. 529v
Bahram Chubina kills the fleeing Sava Shah (1830)
f. 538r
Khusrau Parviz enthroned (1830)
f. 560v
Gurdiya mourns for her brother Bahram Chubina (1830)
f. 572v
The musician Barbad plays for Khusrau Parviz (1830)
f. 582r
Mihr Hurmuzd murders Khusrau Parviz (1830)
f. 587v
Sa'd-i Vaqqas kills Rustam (1830)