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Ms 239
London, Royal Asiatic Society (in index)
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© Royal Asiatic Society, London
Accession Number:
Ms 239
Title of Work:
Shahnama (Juki)
Gregorian Date:
1444 (circa)
In the BL at the moment; Lt. Col.C.J.Doyle, 1834; Mughal Imperial Library (Babur, Humayun, Jahangir, Shah Jahan, Awrangzib)
Muhammad Juki
Folios extant in ms.:
Columns x Rows:
4 x 25
Page Size (h x w):
340 x 220 mm
Text Size (h x w):
220 x 130 mm
Colophon Folio:
Sample Page Folio:
Ms Type:
Ms Status:
Completion Status:
Ready to upload to website
Illuminations in ms:
Illustrations in ms:
32 ( 31 Shahnama 1 other [ Firdausi and the poets ] )
Illustration Records in archive:
Last updated by:
Date last updated:
2013-09-13 09:27
Public Notes
The MS is now in the keeping of the British Library on restricted access [Loan 2]; the folios with miniatures are detached with the bi-folio in which they are found, stored separately in carton mounts in the Prints and Drawings department.

There is no colophon. The manuscript was inspected and dated by Robinson (when still bound and in the keeping of the RAS) according to the name of Muhammad Juki, son of Shahrukh, mentioned twice in the decoration of two miniatures (ff. 278r and 296r). The miniatures have new margins, changed during restoration, evidently in India in the 18th century.

It has the Baysunghur preface (rather rubbed) and two major lacunae: 1600 couplets (16 folios) between ff. 7 and 8 (from the start of the poem down to the revenge of Manuchihr on his uncles Tur and Salm), and 1000 couplets (10 folios) between ff. 41 and 42 (from Zal's sending Rustam to find Kay Qubad to Rustam's fifth labour).

The manuscript contains 32 miniatures, two of which can attributed to the Mughal school, added later. The pictures can be divided between four painters. For the details, see B.W. Robinson, Persian paintings in the collection of the Royal Asiatic Society (London, 1998), pp. 1-8; Barbara Brend, Muhammad Juki's Shahnama of Firduasi (London, 2010), passim.

Project Notes
Need fuller account, updating from BB and AHM.

Scan in missing images.

General Ref:
Ruhrdanz, K. About a group of truncated Shahnamas: A case study in the commercial production of illustrated manuscripts in the second part of the sixteenth century. (in Muqarnas) 14 (1997) pp. 118-34 Brill. Leiden. Netherlands.
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 Collection of the Royal Asiatic Society London. Royal Asiatic Society. London. UK.
Origin Ref:
Robinson, B.W. Persian paintings in the Collection of the Royal Asiatic Society London. Royal Asiatic Society. London. UK.
Illustration Ref:
Robinson, B.W. Persian paintings in the Collection of the Royal Asiatic Society London. Royal Asiatic Society. London. UK.
Illustration in archive - 38     (back to top)
sample page
Binding (1444)
Binding (1444)
f. 003r
Seals of ownership or library marks
f. 003v
Illuminated unvan (1444)
f. 007r
Firdausi and the poets of Ghazna
f. 016v
The Simurgh brings Zal to Sam (1440)
f. 030v
Sam sees Rustam's portrait (1440)
f. 032v
Rustam kills Zal's white elephant (1440)
f. 044v
Rustam's seventh labour: he kills the White Div (1440)
f. 056v
Tahmina visits Rustam's chamber (1440)
f. 067v
Rustam mortally wounds Suhrab (1440)
f. 076r
The fire ordeal of Siyavush (1440)
f. 096r
Guruy executes Siyavush (1440)
f. 119v
Farud kills Zarasp (1440)
f. 135r
Ruhham overcomes Bazur the Turanian wizard (1440)
f. 145v
Rustam kills Ashkabus and his horse (1440)
f. 155v
Rustam pulls the Khaqan of Chin from his elephant by lasso (1440)
f. 165v
Akvan Div flings Rustam into the sea (1440)
f. 180r
Rustam rescues Bizhan from the pit (1440)
f. 190v
Bizhan kills Human (1440)
f. 206v
Gustaham kills Lahhak (1440)
f. 233r
Kay Khusrau besieges Gang Dizh (1440)
f. 243r
Kay Khusrau's champions lost in the snow (1440)
f. 244v
Illuminated unvan (1444)
f. 250v
Gushtasp kills a dragon in Rum (1440)
f. 252r
Gushtasp plays polo before Caesar (1440)
f. 269v
Arjasp defeats Gushtasp (1440)
f. 270r
Arjasp defeats Gushtasp (1440)
f. 278r
Isfandiyar kills Arjasp to rescue his sisters (1440)
f. 291v
The first combat of Rustam and Isfandiyar (1440)
f. 296r
Rustam shoots Isfandiyar in the eyes with a double-pointed arrow (1440)
f. 313v
Iskandar attends the dying Dara (1440)
f. 362v
Bahram Gur hunts in the company of Azada (1440)
f. 394r
Razmihr helps Qubad escape to the Haytaliyan (1440)
f. 430v
Gav and Talhand's forces fight for a second time (1570)
f. 491v
The war between the generals of Khusrau Parviz and Bahram Chubina
f. 531r
Yazdagird hides in the mill
f. 536v
Seals of ownership or library marks (1444)