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Ryl Pers 9
Manchester, John Rylands University Library of Manchester (in index)
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© The John Rylands University Library, The University of Manchester
Accession Number:
Ryl Pers 9
Gregorian Date:
15th century (middle)
Western India
From collection of Sir Gore Ouseley, and later, Nathaniel Bland.
Abu Mansuri
Folios extant in ms.:
Columns x Rows:
4 x 21
Page Size (h x w):
230 x 158 mm
Text Size (h x w):
157 x 108 mm
Sample Page Folio:
Ms Type:
Ms Status:
Completion Status:
Ready to upload to website
Illuminations in ms:
Illustrations in ms:
55 ( 42 Shahnama 2 Barzunama 11 other [ Blanks ] )
Illustration Records in archive:
Last updated by:
Date last updated:
2010-02-08 17:50
Public Notes
Early 19th-century half-calf gilt binding, with lettered spine: the volume contains both the text of the Shahnama, in the central text block, and Nizami's Khamsa in the margins. The information recorded here refers only to the Shahnama.

The ms. begins with the 'old' preface to the Shahnama, f. 1v; the poem starts on f. 7v and the second book, with the reign of Luhrasp, on f. 359v. Each of these pages contains an illuminated heading. These are in the un-outlined style associated with Muzaffarid Shiraz of second half of the 15th century. The colophons contain no details - the final page is a modern replacement. The text includes the Barzunama, following the story of Bizhan and Manizha.

The ms. contains 42 miniatures, 2 preliminary sketches and 11 blank spaces, indicating an original intention to include 55 paintings. The pictures are all very rubbed and damaged.

Robinson identifies two artists at work, Painter A was probably an Indian, his primitive and naïve style recalling Jalayirid work, as especially evident from his palette (oranges and mauves). Painter B is 'unquestionably Persian' and a competent artist who may have helped illustrate the Teignmouth Shahnama later. Either he was a Persian artist visiting India, or an Indian more attuned to Shirazi Timurid style.

Eleanor Sims indicates either Southern Iran or Western India as the place of production.


B.W. Robinson, Persian paintings in the John Rylands Library, pp. 97-110, with 24 b/w illustrations

General Ref:
Sims, E. The illustrated manuscripts of Firdausi's Shahnama commissioned by princes of the house of Timur. (in Ars Orientalis) 22 (1993) pp. 43-68
General Ref:
Norgren, J. & Davis, E. Preliminary index of Shah-nameh illustrations. University of Michigan. Ann Arbor. USA.
Dating Ref:
Robinson, B.W. Persian Paintings in the John Rylands Library A Descriptive Catalogue. Sotheby Parke Bernet. London. UK.
Origin Ref:
Robinson, B.W. Persian Paintings in the John Rylands Library A Descriptive Catalogue. Sotheby Parke Bernet. London. UK.
Illustration Ref:
Robinson, B.W. Persian Paintings in the John Rylands Library A Descriptive Catalogue. Sotheby Parke Bernet. London. UK.
Illustration in archive - 64     (back to top)
sample page
f. 001v
Illuminated unvan
f. 007v
Illuminated unvan
f. 018r
Kava carries his standard
f. 028v
The murder of Iraj
f. 038v
Sam brings Zal from mountains
f. 044r
Rudaba and Zal together
f. 052r
Sam receives Sindukht as envoy from the King of Kabul
f. 078r
Rustam's fourth labour: he kills the witch
f. 080v
Rustam's seventh labour: he kills the White Div
f. 090v
Kay Kavus airborne
f. 094v
Tahmina visits Rustam's chamber
f. 105v
Rustam discovers Suhrab's identity
f. 115v
The fire ordeal of Siyavush
f. 138r
Guruy executes Siyavush
f. 148v
Giv finds Kay Khusrau in Turan
f. 154r
Kay Khusrau crosses the Oxus with Farangis and Giv
f. 158v
Kay Khusrau praised by the elders
f. 169r
Jarira commits suicide over her son's body
f. 183r
The Turanians use sorcery against the Iranians in battle
f. 196r
Rustam kills Ashkabus and his horse
f. 206v
Rustam pulls the Khaqan of Chin from his elephant by lasso
f. 217r
Akvan Div flings Rustam into the sea
f. 221r
Bizhan slaughters the wild boar
f. 234v
Rustam rescues Bizhan from the pit
f. 264v
Barzu's mother prevents Rustam from killing Barzu
f. 270r
Scene from the Barzunama
f. 313r
Piran escapes from Gudarz up the mountainside
f. 329r
A full scale battle between the armies of Iran and Turan
f. 335v
Kay Khusrau besieges Gang Dizh
f. 348v
The execution of Afrasiyab
f. 364v
Gushtasp kills a wolf in Rum
f. 389r
Gurgsar brought captive before Isfandiyar
f. 393r
Isfandiyar's fourth labour: he kills the sorceress
f. 405r
Rustam kicks aside the rock pushed by Bahman
f. 410v
Rustam boasts about his strength
f. 418v
Rustam shoots Isfandiyar in the eyes with a double-pointed arrow
f. 429r
The laundryman rescues Darab from the water
f. 436v
Iskandar attends the dying Dara
f. 457r
Khizr at the Fountain of Life
f. 470v
Haftvad's daughter spinning in the garden
f. 497r
Bahram Gur's mount tramples Azada
f. 503r
Bahram Gur fights two lions to win the throne
f. 509r
A drunken shoemaker rides on Bahram Gur's escaped lion
f. 525v
Bahram Gur wrestles before Shangul
f. 554r
Buzurjmihr under the tree with the speaking snake
f. 562v
Anushirvan executes Zarvan and the Jew
f. 575r
Buzurjmihr demonstrates how to play the game of chess (1450)
f. 607r
Bahram Chubina kills the fleeing Sava Shah
f. 613r
Bahram Chubina fights Parmuda, the son of Sava Shah
f. 632v
Khusrau Parviz goes to Rum
f. 641r
Bahram Chubina kills Kut the Roman
f. 652v
Gurdiya mourns for her brother Bahram Chubina
f. 662v
Shirin greets Khusrau Parviz on his way to the hunt
f. 665v
The musician Barbad plays for Khusrau Parviz
f. 685r
Sa'd-i Vaqqas kills Rustam
f. 691r
The miller assassinates Yazdagird
f. 694r
Bizhan kills Mahuy to avenge Yazdagird