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Ms. 1945
Istanbul, Turk ve Islam Eserleri Muzesi (in index)
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© Turk ve Islam Eserleri Muzesi, Istanbul. Photo: Charles Melville
Accession Number:
Ms. 1945
Hijri Date:
855 Shawwal
Gregorian Date:
1451 November (to nearest hijri month)
Seal of Lale Pasha, f.2r; each picture has stamp of Auqaf (Evkaf) of Islamic Museum.
Shaikh al-Islam b.Husain b. `Ali b. Mahmud al-Sadiqi
Folios extant in ms.:
Columns x Rows:
4 x 25
Page Size (h x w):
255 x 170 mm
Text Size (h x w):
173 x 106 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:
63 ( 4 frontispiece(s) 59 Shahnama )
Illustration Records in archive:
Last updated by:
Date last updated:
2009-08-06 00:00:00
Public Notes
The manuscript is in good condition, but the binding is rather loosened and some folios are loose. Original leather binding, outside cover of black leather with a gold central cartouche and medallions; inside maroon, blue and gold borders of filigree, with flap.

One peculiarity of the illustrations is that Rustam does not wear his leopard hat and feather; another is that there is often no sky, but one or two clouds at the top of the picture. Altogether, it is a most interesting ms, with many unusual depictions of familiar subjects, often reduced to bare essentials, and often therefore quite removed from the text they're illustrating. Probably more than one hand was involved. The dimensions are very regular, with few departures from a rectangular format, but one or two larger-scale and more crowded scenes occur. Some of the work is rather crude. The ms. itself is beautifully produced, with fine gold margins and columns and neat headings.

The ms. starts on f. 1r with the left hand side of a double frontispiece, the right side of which is missing. The prose preface starts f. 1v, on a double page of gold interlinear illumination under a modest 'unvan. The preface ends with a full page miniature, f. 7r, and is incomplete? The poem starts with normative incipit, f. 7v, under another illuminated 'unvan, blue with gold, red and green touches. Text headings are in gold.

At end of Book One, there is a colophon dating the work to this point, to Sunday 1 Ordibehesht-mah Jalali, 855 AH (f. 258r). Book Two, starting with Luhrasp, is on f. 259v, under a nice sarlauh. (Ch.M.).

See K. Cig, "Turk ve Islam Eserleri Muzesi'ndeki minyaturi u Kitaplarin katalogu", Sarkiyat Mecmuasi Istanbul Universitesi Edebiyat Fakultesi 3 (1959), pp. 69-70.

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
Dating Ref:
Colophon Extracted from the colophon of the work.
Illustration in archive - 63     (back to top)
sample page
f. 001r
Frontispiece (recto side) (1451)
f. 003r
Firdausi and the poets of Ghazna (1451)
f. 006v
Frontispiece (verso side) (1451)
f. 007r
Frontispiece (recto side) (1451)
f. 011v
Tahmuras and the Divs (1451)
f. 025r
The murder of Iraj (1451)
f. 029v
Qaran captures the Alanic Fortress (1451)
f. 037v
Rudaba lets down her hair for Zal to climb up (1451)
f. 048r
The birth of Rustam (1451)
f. 067v
Rustam's seventh labour: he kills the White Div (1451)
f. 078v
Tahmina visits Rustam's chamber (1451)
f. 087v
Rustam mortally wounds Suhrab (1451)
f. 092r
Siyavush returns from Zabulistan (1451)
f. 096v
The fire ordeal of Siyavush (1451)
f. 115r
Farangis cries for mercy to Afrasiyab (1451)
f. 129r
Kay Khusrau crosses the Oxus with Farangis and Giv (1451)
f. 133r
Kay Khusrau receives Rustam and Zal (1451)
f. 143v
Giv strikes the crown from Tazhav's head (1451)
f. 153v
Ruhham overcomes Bazur the Turanian wizard (1451)
f. 163r
Rustam kills Ashkabus and his horse (1451)
f. 172v
Rustam pulls the Khaqan of Chin from his elephant by lasso (1451)
f. 179v
Rustam overthrows Puladvand (1451)
f. 181v
Akvan Div flings Rustam into the sea (1451)
f. 186r
Manizha's nurse speaks with Bizhan (1451)
f. 187v
Bizhan brought before Afrasiyab (1451)
f. 196v
Rustam rescues Bizhan from the pit (1451)
f. 219v
The eleventh combat: Gudarz kills Piran (1451)
f. 232v
A full scale battle between the armies of Iran and Turan (1451)
f. 245v
Kay Khusrau crosses Lake Zara (1451)
f. 249v
The execution of Afrasiyab (1451)
f. 263r
Gushtasp kills a wolf in Rum (1451)
f. 274v
Bidarafsh kills Zarir, the brother of Gushtasp (1451)
f. 286r
Isfandiyar's third labour: he fights the dragon (1451)
f. 287r
Isfandiyar's fourth labour: he kills the sorceress (1451)
f. 290v
Isfandiyar's sisters recognize him in merchant's clothes (1451)
f. 299r
Rustam and Isfandiyar parley (1451)
f. 308v
Rustam shoots Isfandiyar in the eyes with a double-pointed arrow (1451)
f. 314r
Rustam kills Shaghad before dying (1451)
f. 318r
The laundryman rescues Darab from the water (1451)
f. 326r
Iskandar attends the dying Dara (1451)
f. 336r
Iskandar visits Qaydafa disguised as a messenger (1451)
f. 342r
Iskandar encounters Israfil (1451)
f. 350r
Gulnar sees Ardashir and falls in love with him (1451)
f. 353v
Haftvad's daughter spinning in the garden (1451)
f. 357v
Ardashir recognizes Shapur during a polo game (1451)
f. 376r
Bahram Gur hunts in the company of Azada (1451)
f. 381r
Bahram Gur fights two lions to win the throne (1451)
f. 386r
A drunken shoemaker rides on Bahram Gur's escaped lion (1451)
f. 391v
Bahram Gur marries Arzu, the daughter of Mahyar the jeweller (1451)
f. 402v
Bahram Gur kills a wolf in India (1451)
f. 425v
Buzurjmihr under the tree with the speaking snake (1451)
f. 444r
Gav and Talhand enthroned (1451)
f. 446v
Talhand dies on the back of his elephant during the battle (1451)
f. 467v
Bahram Chubina kills the fleeing Sava Shah (1451)
f. 477v
Binduy and Gustaham blind Hurmuzd (1451)
f. 489r
Khusrau Parviz hears from the monk again (1451)
f. 496r
Bahram Chubina kills Kut the Roman (1451)
f. 499r
Bahram Chubina given wine by the old woman (1451)
f. 506r
Qalun is arrested and beaten to death (1451)
f. 514v
Shirin greets Khusrau Parviz on his way to the hunt (1451)
f. 526v
Mihr Hurmuzd murders Khusrau Parviz (1451)
f. 533r
Sa'd-i Vaqqas replies to Rustam's message (1451)
f. 538r
The miller assassinates Yazdagird (1451)