view archive:
New York , Metropolitan Museum of Art (in index)
Click the boxes to tag/un-tag this page in a workbook

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Alexander Smith Cochran, 1913 (13.228.22) © 2005 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Accession Number:
Title of Work:
Shahnama (Akbar)
Hijri Date:
1011 Muharram 1
Gregorian Date:
1602 June 20
Subimperial Mughal
Gift of Alexander Smith Cochran, 1913
Kamal al-Din Ibrahim
Folios extant in ms.:
Columns x Rows:
4 x 25
Page Size (h x w):
355 x 215 mm
Text Size (h x w):
203 x 115 mm
Colophon Folio:
Num Other Colophons:
Ms Type:
Ms Status:
Completion Status:
Ready to upload to website
Illuminations in ms:
Illustrations in ms:
72 ( 1 frontispiece(s) 66 Shahnama 2 Barzunama 3 other [ colophon ] )
Illustration Records in archive:
Last updated by:
Date last updated:
2007-10-01 21:30:15
Public Notes

Total number of bayts in this copy is about 57,000. Two leaves are lost between fols. 2 and 3. The first 10 fols. of the Preface are missing.

The binding is heavy Oriental leather of a golden brown colour, richly embossed in gilt on the outside, with a mahogany red leather finish on the inside and ornate tooling in various colours. The pressed leather work on both the inside and outside of the covers, with medallions and paneled borders, is very fine. The codex has been bound a second time and subjected to a very slight trimming.

Illuminations and illustrations:

The decorative margins which form the borders are of a salmon pink colour and are embellished in highly ornate fashion, with varied designs of animals, birds and flowers, outlined in gold. No two pages are exactly alike.

There are four illuminated page headings (unvans) as introductions to the four separate subdivisions of the text. Also, 72 small miniatures, which are called Chinese work in the Persian memorandum on the 1st older fly leaf. In style these paintings seem to show a strong Indian influence and are perhaps the work of a Mongolian or Turkistan artist who was in Northern India, though he knew Persia as well. They all seem to be the work of a single brush, and are delicate in form and in execution. Each miniature occupies about one-third of the page, and in shape is not square, but in three panels, usually with the middle section considerably larger than the side section.

Initial investigation by Firuza Abdullaeva. The dimensions of the paintings are still to be given. For fuller details, see the catalogue of Jackson & Yohannan.

General Ref:
Norgren, J. & Davis, E. Preliminary index of Shah-nameh illustrations. University of Michigan. Ann Arbor. USA.
Dating Ref:
Colophon Extracted from the colophon of the work.
Origin Ref:
Jackson, A.V.W & Yohannan, A A Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts Presented to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, by Alexander Smith Cochran. New York. USA.
Illustration in archive - 78     (back to top)
f. 001r
Miscellaneous preliminary material (1602)
f. 002r
Kayumars enthroned (1602)
f. 003v
Jamshid enthroned (1602)
f. 006r
Zahhak enthroned (1602)
f. 029r
The murder of Iraj (1602)
f. 035r
Manuchihr enthroned (1602)
f. 037r
The Simurgh bids farewell to Sam's son (1602)
f. 042r
Zal sees Rudaba on the roof of her palace (1602)
f. 052r
The birth of Rustam (1602)
f. 064r
Rustam lifts Afrasiyab by the belt (1602)
f. 079r
Kay Kavus airborne (1602)
f. 093r
Rustam discovers Suhrab's identity (1602)
f. 107r
Zanga goes to Afrasiyab (1602)
f. 120v
Guruy executes Siyavush (1602)
f. 135v
Kay Kavus gives up throne in favour of Kay Khusrau (1602)
f. 142v
Farud kills Zarasp (1602)
f. 150r
Rivniz dies, but Bahram saves his crown (1602)
f. 167r
Rustam kills Ashkabus and his horse (1602)
f. 176r
Rustam pulls the Khaqan of Chin from his elephant by lasso (1602)
f. 185r
Rustam fights a sea monster (1602)
f. 186r
f. 198v
Rustam rescues Bizhan from the pit (1602)
f. 200r
Rustam and Bizhan defeat Afrasiyab in battle (1602)
f. 234v
Scene from the Barzunama (1602)
f. 237v
Scene from the Barzunama (1602)
f. 248r
Bizhan kills Human (1602)
f. 261r
The eleventh combat: Gudarz kills Piran (1602)
f. 272v
Kay Khusrau kills Shida (1602)
f. 274r
A full scale battle between the armies of Iran and Turan (1602)
f. 290r
Afrasiyab rises from the water as Garsivaz is tortured (1602)
f. 309r
f. 309v
Gushtasp enthroned (1602)
f. 319v
Gushtasp puts Isfandiyar in chains (1602)
f. 326vA
Isfandiyar's first labour: he fights the wolves (1602)
f. 326vB
Isfandiyar's second labour: he fights the lions (1602)
f. 327r
Isfandiyar's third labour: he fights the dragon (1602)
f. 328r
Isfandiyar's fourth labour: he kills the sorceress (1602)
f. 328v
Isfandiyar's fifth labour: he kills the Simurgh (1602)
f. 330v
Isfandiyar kills Gurgsar during the seventh labour (1602)
f. 349r
Rustam shoots Isfandiyar in the eyes with a double-pointed arrow (1602)
f. 351r
Isfandiyar mourned (1602)
f. 354v
Rustam kills Shaghad before dying (1602)
f. 357r
The execution of Faramarz (1602)
f. 366r
Iskandar attends the dying Dara (1602)
f. 367r
Iskandar enthroned (1602)
f. 373r
Iskandar kills Fur (1602)
f. 381v
Iskandar and the sage Khizr seek the Fountain of Life (1602)
f. 384v
Approaching Babylon Iskandar meets Gushbistar (1602)
f. 389r
Ardavan disgraces Ardashir in their dispute over game (1602)
f. 391v
Ardavan led captive before Ardashir (1602)
f. 395v
Ardashir Babakan enthroned (1602)
f. 406r
Shapur Dhu'l Aktaf enthroned (1602)
f. 414v
Yazdagird the Sinner enthroned (1602)
f. 416v
Bahram Gur hunts in the company of Azada (1602)
f. 418v
A sea monster kills Yazdagird (1602)
f. 420r
Bahram Gur, Munzir and Nu'man receive a Persian delegation at Jahrum (1602)
f. 421v
Bahram Gur enthroned after killing the lions (1602)
f. 425v
A drunken shoemaker rides on Bahram Gur's escaped lion (1602)
f. 431r
Bahram Gur and Mahyar listen to Arzu's harp playing (1602)
f. 444v
Bahram Gur kills a dragon in India (1602)
f. 456v
Anushirvan executes Mazdak and his followers (1602)
f. 457r
f. 457v
Qubad names Anushirvan as crown prince (1602)
f. 485r
Anushirvan sits before the chessboard sent by the Raja of Hind (1602)
f. 490v
Talhand dies on the back of his elephant during the battle (1602)
f. 512r
Bahram Chubina kills the fleeing Sava Shah (1602)
f. 530v
Bahram Chubina enthroned (1602)
f. 548v
Gurdiya mourns for her brother Bahram Chubina (1602)
f. 556v
Shirin greets Khusrau Parviz on his way to the hunt (1602)
f. 559r
The musician Barbad plays for Khusrau Parviz (1602)
f. 568v
Mihr Hurmuzd murders Khusrau Parviz (1602)
f. 572r
Yazdagird III enthroned (1602)
f. 578v
The miller assassinates Yazdagird (1602)
f. 580v
Bizhan kills Mahuy to avenge Yazdagird (1602)