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Ms. 1978
Istanbul, Turk ve Islam Eserleri Muzesi (in index)
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Sample Page
© Turk ve Islam Eserleri Muzesi, Istanbul
Accession Number:
Ms. 1978
Title of Work:
Shahnama (Big Head)
Hijri Date:
Gregorian Date:
1493 (to nearest hijri year)
Lahijan, Gilan
Halet Efendi Ktp., 3079.
Karkiya Mirza 'Ali
Salik b. Sa'id
Folios extant in ms.:
Columns x Rows:
4 x 23
Page Size (h x w):
350 x 240 mm
Sample Page Folio:
Ms Type:
Ms Status:
Part 1
Completion Status:
Ready to upload to website
Illuminations in ms:
Illustrations in ms:
Illustration Records in archive:
Last updated by:
Date last updated:
2015-11-11 10:04
Public Notes
The famous Big-Head Shahnama, the bulk of which exists in two manuscripts in Istanbul, the other part being in the University Library (FY 1406), and in numerous folios dispersed among other collections.

This manuscript in the Turk ve Islam Eserleri Muzesi was exhibited at the Royal Academy, London, "Turks", February-April 2005, an again at an exhibition in the Museum in July 2012.

This preliminary presentation of the contents is based on the folder of photos held in the Museum, not on the manuscript itself. Most of the photographs held by the Museum exclude the text, or have the folio number pasted over it. Initial investigation by Firuza Abdullaeva, still to be completed.

Because of the large number of pictures, which follow each other in rapid succession, many of the scenes depicted are unique to this manuscript. A refinement of the scene titles to accommodate the new subjects is still in progress.

The sample page shows the final page of the manuscript in this collection, ending with the verse M, 201 in the reign of Luhrasp. As the first folio of the University Library copy begins with the next verse, M, 202, it seems clear that the original manuscript was in one volume and was later divided at this unnatural place in the text. Fol. 282v page starts with the verse M, 150; i.e. there are three verses missing compared with the Mohl edition (Ch.M.).

Project Notes
Update details, NB description of black leather binding and doublure with delicate filigree work, in Cig's catalogue, p. 80.

See also refs. from Tanindi's article.

Dating Ref:
Colophon Extracted from the colophon of the work.
Origin Ref:
Martin, F.R. The miniature paintings and painters of Persia, India and Turkey, from the 8th to the 18th century. London. UK.
Illustration in archive - 209     (back to top)
sample page
Binding (1493)
f. 001r
Shamsa (1493)
f. 001v
Frontispiece (verso side) (1493)
f. 002r
Illuminated title page (recto side) (1493)
f. 004v
In praise of Sultan Mahmud (1493)
f. 005v
Kayumars enthroned (1493)
f. 006r
The Div Khazarvan fights Siyamak (1493)
f. 006v
f. 007r
Hushang kills the Black Div (1493)
f. 007v
Hushang enthroned (1493)
f. 008r
Jamshid enthroned (1493)
f. 008v
Jamshid teaches the crafts (1493)
f. 009r
Jamshid teaches the crafts (1493)
f. 009v
Jamshid teaches the crafts (1493)
f. 010r
Jamshid enthroned, carried by Divs (1493)
f. 010v
Jamshid enthroned, carried by Divs (1493)
f. 011v
Zahhak murders his father Mirdas (1493)
f. 012r
Two snakes appear from Zahhak's shoulders (1493)
f. 012v
Two snakes appear from Zahhak's shoulders (1493)
f. 013r
Jamshid sawn in half before Zahhak (1493)
f. 013v
Zahhak enthroned (1493)
f. 014r
Zahhak enthroned (1493)
f. 014v
The mobad interprets Zahhak's dream (1493)
f. 015r
The mobad interprets Zahhak's dream (1493)
f. 015vA
The early years of Faridun (1493)
f. 015vB
The early years of Faridun (1493)
f. 016rA
The early years of Faridun (1493)
f. 016rB
The early years of Faridun (1493)
f. 016v
The early years of Faridun (1493)
f. 017v
Zahhak hears Kava's complaint (1493)
f. 018v
Kava carries his standard (1493)
f. 019r
Faridun fords the Dijla on the way to fight Zahhak (1493)
f. 019v
Faridun fords the Dijla on the way to fight Zahhak (1493)
f. 020r
Faridun with Jamshid's daughters (1493)
f. 021r
Faridun and Zahhak's wiseman, Kundru (1493)
f. 022r
Faridun binds Zahhak (1493)
f. 022v
Faridun binds Zahhak (1493)
f. 023r
Faridun brings Zahhak to Mount Damavand (1493)
f. 023v
Faridun enthroned (1493)
f. 024r
Faridun enthroned (1493)
f. 025r
Jandal, Faridun's envoy, before the King of Yemen (1493)
f. 025v
Jandal, Faridun's envoy, before the King of Yemen (1493)
f. 026r
The king of Yemen responds to Jandal (1493)
f. 026v
The King of Yemen receives Faridun's sons (1493)
f. 027r
The king of Yemen tests the sons of Faridun with magic (1493)
f. 027v
The king of Yemen tests the sons of Faridun with magic (1493)
f. 028r
Faridun tests his sons (1493)
f. 028v
Faridun attended by his sons and their wives (1493)
f. 029v
Salm and Tur send a message to Faridun (1493)
f. 030v
Iraj with his brothers Salm and Tur (1493)
f. 031r
Iraj with his brothers Salm and Tur (1493)
f. 032r
The murder of Iraj (1493)
f. 032v
The head of Iraj is brought to Faridun (1493)
f. 033r
The head of Iraj is brought to Faridun (1494)
f. 033v
The birth of Iraj's daughter (1494)
f. 034r
The birth of Manuchihr
f. 035r
Manuchihr leads his army to fight Salm and Tur (1493)
f. 035v
Manuchihr and the Iranians attack the army of Tur (1493)
f. 036r
Manuchihr kills Tur in battle (1493)
f. 036v
Qaran captures the Alanic Fortress (1494)
f. 037v
Manuchihr fights Kakuy, grandson of Zahhak (1493)
f. 038r
Manuchihr kills Salm (1493)
f. 038v
Faridun receives the severed head of Salm
f. 039r
Faridun receives the severed head of Salm (1493)
f. 039v
Faridun receives the severed head of Salm (1493)
f. 040r
Manuchihr enthroned (1493)
f. 041r
The birth of Zal (1493)
f. 043v
Zal meets Mihrab of Kabul (1493)
f. 045r
Rudaba's maids pay Zal a visit (1493)
f. 045v
Zal shoots fowl (1493)
f. 047r
Rudaba lets down her hair for Zal to climb up (1494)
f. 051r
Manuchihr learns about Zal and Rudaba (1494)
f. 051v
Sam before Manuchihr (1494)
f. 056v
f. 058r
f. 058v
f. 059v
Rustam kills Zal's white elephant (1493)
f. 060v
Rustam fights Mihtar, kotwal of Kuh-i Sipand (1493)
f. 061v
f. 064v
Barman kills Qubad (1494)
f. 065r
The battle between Qarin and Afrasiyab (1494)
f. 066r
The third battle between Nauzar and Afrasiyab (1494)
f. 067r
Nauzar is captured in battle with Afrasiyab (1494)
f. 068v
Zal shoots Gulbad (1494)
f. 069r
Nauzar about to be executed by Afrasiyab (1494)
f. 070v
Afrasiyab kills his brother Aghriras (1493)
f. 071r
f. 072v
Rustam catches Rakhsh
f. 077rA
Rustam roasts an onager (1494)
f. 077rB
Rustam's first labour: Rakhsh kills a lion (1493)
f. 078v
Rustam's third labour: he kills a dragon (1494)
f. 079v
Rustam camps in a field and gets into a fight with the watchman (1494)
f. 080r
f. 081r
Rustam's sixth labour: he kills Arzhang (1493)
f. 083v
f. 084v
Rustam throws the King of Mazandaran in the form of a rock before Kay Kavus (1493)
f. 085r
f. 086r
Kay Kavus fights the King of Hamavaran (1494)
f. 087r
Kay Kavus marries Sudaba (1494)
f. 088r
The King of Hamavaran imprisons Kay Kavus and his men in a mountain (1493)
f. 089v
Guraza captures the Shah of Barbaristan (1494)
f. 091r
Rustam fights Afrasiyab (1494)
f. 094r
f. 096r
Tahmina visits Rustam's chamber (1493)
f. 097v
Suhrab fights Hujir (1494)
f. 098r
Suhrab fights Gurdafarid (1493)
f. 103v
Rustam meets Suhrab before combat (1493)
f. 105v
Suhrab overthrows Rustam in their second combat (1493)
f. 106v
Rustam mortally wounds Suhrab (1494)
f. 109r
Suhrab's body carried to Zabulistan (1494)
f. 110r
Tahmina learns of Suhrab's death (1494)
f. 112r
Siyavush returns from Zabulistan (1494)
f. 113r
Siyavush in Sudaba's private quarters (1494)
f. 114r
Siyavush visits Sudaba's quarters a second time (1494)
f. 115r
Siyavush in Sudaba's quarters for the third time (1494)
f. 117r
The fire ordeal of Siyavush (1494)
f. 119v
f. 121r
f. 126r
Siyavush displays his archery skill before Afrasiyab (1494)
f. 127r
Piran proposes his daughter as a wife for Siyavush (1493)
f. 134r
Siyavush says farewell to Farangis after his dream (1493)
f. 135r
Siyavush is wounded and falls from his horse (1494)
f. 136r
f. 136v
Guruy executes Siyavush (1494)
f. 137r
Mourning for Siyavush (1494)
f. 139v
Rustam comes to Kay Kavus (1494)
f. 140v
Rustam comes to Kay Kavus
f. 141r
f. 142r
Faramarz kills Varazad (1494)
f. 143r
f. 144r
f. 145r
f. 149r
The Turanians flee from Rustam (1494)
f. 150v
Giv captures Piran (1493)
f. 151r
Farangis releases Piran from Giv (1494)
f. 151v
f. 152v
Kay Khusrau crosses the Oxus with Farangis and Giv
f. 153v
Kay Khusrau goes to Isfahan (1494)
f. 154r
Kay Kavus receives Kay Khusrau on his arrival from Turan (1494)
f. 156v
Gudarz and Tus ask Kay Kavus about the enthronement Kay Khusrau (1493)
f. 157r
Kay Kavus gives up throne in favour of Kay Khusrau (1494)
f. 158r
Kay Khusrau receives Rustam and Zal (1493)
f. 159r
Kay Khusrau pledges vengeance against Afrasiyab (1493)
f. 166r
Bizhan fights Farud on foot (1494)
f. 167r
Farud retreats to his fortress and is mortally wounded by Ruhham (1493)
f. 167v
Jarira commits suicide over her son's body (1493)
f. 168v
f. 170r
f. 171v
f. 172r
f. 172v
f. 175v
f. 177r
f. 178r
The Iranians regroup and fight back (1493)
f. 179v
f. 181v
f. 182r
f. 185r
f. 187v
f. 188r
f. 189r
Rustam kills Chingish (1494)
f. 191v
f. 194v
f. 195r
f. 196r
f. 197v
f. 198v
Rustam divides the booty (1493)
f. 200v
f. 201r
Rustam fights Kafur the Cannibal (1494)
f. 203r
f. 203v
Puladvand lifts Giv and Tus from their saddles (1494)
f. 206r
Akvan Div flings Rustam into the sea (1494)
f. 207v
Bizhan slaughters the wild boar (1494)
f. 208v
Illuminated page (1493)
f. 209v
Gurgin tells his story to Kay Khusrau (1494)
f. 215v
f. 216r
f. 225v
f. 226r
Bizhan kills Human (1494)
f. 227r
Nastihan makes a night attack and is killed by Bizhan (1493)
f. 229r
Piran writes to Gudarz seeking a truce (1493)
f. 232v
f. 233v
Giv fights Piran (1493)
f. 234r
Giv fights Piran (1493)
f. 234v
Giv fights Lahhak and Farshidvard (1493)
f. 236v
Piran consults with his commanders (1493)
f. 237r
Gudarz and Piran name their champions for the single combats (1493)
f. 238v
Fariburz ties Gulbad over his saddle (1493)
f. 239v
Giv defeats and binds Guruy Zirih (1493)
f. 240r
The fourth combat: Furuhil kills Zangala (1493)
f. 241r
The fifth combat: Ruhham kills Barman (1493)
f. 242r
The seventh combat: Hujir kills Sipahram with a blow of his sword (1493)
f. 243r
Piran attacks the Iranian camp at night (1493)
f. 244v
Kay Khusrau disgraces Tus (1493)
f. 245r
Fariburz and Ruhham seek a truce from Piran (1493)
f. 245v
Rustam comes before Kay Khusrau after returning with Bizhan (1493)
f. 246r
Kay Khusrau holds a feast for Rustam after Bizhan's rescue (1493)
f. 247r
f. 248r
f. 250r
Kay Khusrau kills Guruy (1493)
f. 250v
The Turanians seek a safe conduct from Kay Khusrau (1493)
f. 261r
Kay Khusrau writes to Kay Kavus with news of his victory (1493)
f. 262v
The war between the Iranians and the Turanians (1493)
f. 264r
Kay Khusrau sends messages to the Faghfur of Chin and the King of Makran (1493)
f. 268r
Kay Khusrau besieges Gang Dizh (1494)
f. 269r
Afrasiyab flees from Gang Dizh (1493)
f. 272r
The execution of Afrasiyab (1493)
f. 273v
Kay Khusrau despairs of the world (1493)
f. 281v
Gushtasp feasts with Luhrasp (1493)