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Suppl. persan 1280
Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale de France (in index)
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Sample Illustration
© Bibliotheque nationale de France
Accession Number:
Suppl. persan 1280
Gregorian Date:
bought on 19 March 1898 from Paris booksellers Paul and Guillemin (FR notes)
Shah Rukh Bahadur
'Ali Riza b. Hasan 'Ali Khan Haravi
Folios extant in ms.:
Estimated num folios in ms.:
Columns x Rows:
4 x 23
Page Size (h x w):
332 x 215 mm
Text Size (h x w):
220 x 130 mm
Persian nasta'liq
Colophon Folio:
Sample Page Folio:
Ms Type:
Ms Status:
Completion Status:
Ready to upload to website
Illuminations in ms:
Illustrations in ms:
36 ( 36 Shahnama )
Illustration Records in archive:
Last updated by:
Date last updated:
0000-00-00 00:00:00
Public Notes
Bought on 19 March 1898 from Paris booksellers Paul and Guillemin (Fr R. notes). Formerly Blochet no. 1161; new catalogue no. 890, now Supp. pers. 1280.

A de luxe Timurid ms, on beautiful heavy cream paper, with new margins (18th c. restoration ?). The first and last ff. are mssing. It is in two parts, the second starting on f. 258v. The ms. has the start of the Abu Mansuri preface of f. 1v, but continues with the Baysunqur preface on ff. 2v-12r. The text of the poem starts on f. 12v. The satire on Mahmud (ff. 8r-9v) contains 109 bayts.

The text is in small very neat nasta'liq in Indian ink, headings in thulth of a bigger size in gold in rectangular cartouches (17 x 62 mm), where the foreground is filled in with the floral design in gold and polychrome. In the preface, keywords are added in gold and blue in the nastaliq of the same size and style.

All the catchwords are in place. The margins are quite wide (68 mm side, 56 mm on bottom and top), and the open edge of the ms. is decorated with a gold ornament of a herbal pattern.

The binding is European, of thick cardboard covered with red and grey patterned paper and a wide edge, coming to the covers, which are made of quite thick bright red leather, with five thread divisions and the gold stamped inscription Le livre des rois. The doublures are decorated with paper of a peacock feather pattern in blue, light and bright yellow, red and green.

In the colophon (f. 541r) the calligrapher mentions his name and place of origin as Herat. The date 1426 was offered by Blochet probably according to the calligrapher, who was working for the royal atelier of Shah Rukh Bahadur. It was altered by Fr. Richard to ca.1490 (Splendeurs, p. 113), considering that it was the calligrapher who was originally from Herat, while the manuscript was created in Shiraz. His suggestion is based on the very peculiar representation of the beginning of the second part of the poem, which starts with the scene of Luhrasp’s enthronement. On f. 258v the traditional illumination of the first page is combined with the miniature, which is placed right below the unvan; a number of manuscripts from Shiraz from 1470-1500 were executed in the same characteristic manner.

Illuminations: the ms is decorated in very good and neat taste, but is modest in scope. There are three unvans: before the prose introduction (f.1v), at the beginning of the poem (f.12v), and opening the chapter on Luhrasp (f. 258v). The first one has an empty cartouche; the others have their titles.

Fr. Richard considers that the 36 miniatures together with the illuminations are very much in the Turkman style of Shiraz and could belong to the same atelier as the Shahnama ms. Elliott 325 from the Bodleian library, Oxford. However, in as much as the calligrapher mentions Herat, it remains tempting to notice the similarity of the "sea weed" edges in the depiction of the landscape (especially hills and rocks) and several other features, like the vegetation and dress fashion of this ms, with other Herat ones of the period of Muhammad Juki, like the Royal Asiatic Society ms. now held in the British Library.

The facial features of the people are very Mongol, the details of the ornament are very neat, especially of the horses' armour; the sky is usually gold with very curly white Chinese clouds. Pigments are of highest quality, only some of them started to oxidize (light turquoise green, which has just started and silver, which darkened without spoiling the surrounding surface); they are very bright and seem to be of original colour. The faces on all the miniatures are spoiled, at least those of the main heroes, but not in an aggressive way: sometimes, it is just a dot, made by a sharp tool.

The paintings are generally of well-known and standard scenes, frequently represented elsewhere (F.A.).

There are currently no images available for this manuscript.


E. Blochet, Les Enluminure des manuscrits orientaux, turc, arabes, persans dans la biblioteque nationale, Paris, La Gazette des Beaux Arts, 1926, pp. 81-83 and pl. XXXIa-XXXIIIb

F. Edhem and I. Stchoukine, Les manuscrits orientaux illustres de la biblioteque nationale de l’universite de Stamboul dans Memoires de l’Institut francais d’archeologie de Stamboul, Paris, t.1, 1933, no. XXIV, pp. 30-31

B.W. Robinson, "Origin and date of three famous Shah-nameh illustrations", Ars orientalis, I (1954), pp. 108-9

B.W. Robinson, A descriptive catalogue of the Persian paintings in the Bodleian library, Oxford, Clarendon press,1958, pp. 49-54

I. Stchoukine, Les peinture des manuscrit timurides, Paris, Geuthner, 1954, p. 64, no. LVIII and pl. XLVII

Fr. Richard, Les Splendeurs persanes. Manuscrits du XIIe au XVIIe siecle, Bibliotheque nationale, Paris, 1997, p. 113, no. 72

General Ref:
Blochet, E. Catalogue des manuscrits persans, Bibliotheque Nationale, Reunion des Bibliotheques Nationales. 3 (1161) Paris. France.
General Ref:
Revue des Bibliotheques Revue des bibliotheques. pp. 140 Paris. France.
Dating Ref:
Richard, F. Les Splendeurs persanes. Manuscrits du XIIe au XVIIe siècle. Bibliothèque nationale de France. Paris. France.
Origin Ref:
Richard, F. Les Splendeurs persanes. Manuscrits du XIIe au XVIIe siècle. Bibliothèque nationale de France. Paris. France.
Folio Ref:
Richard, F. Les Splendeurs persanes. Manuscrits du XIIe au XVIIe siècle. Bibliothèque nationale de France. Paris. France.
Illustration in archive - 54     (back to top)
f. 014v
Kayumars enthroned (1490)
f. 022r
Faridun enthroned (1490)
f. 028r
The murder of Iraj (1490)
f. 038r
Sam visits Zal and Rustam (1490)
f. 048r
Rustam lifts Afrasiyab by the belt (1490)
f. 056r
Rustam's seventh labour: he kills the White Div (1490)
f. 066v
Rustam and Isfandiyar fight again (1490)
f. 079v
Rustam mortally wounds Suhrab (1490)
f. 107r
Guruy executes Siyavush (1490)
f. 113v
Human attacks Rustam to allow Afrasiyab to escape (1490)
f. 131r
Farud kills Zarasp (1490)
f. 156v
Rustam kills Ashkabus and his horse (1490)
f. 167r
Rustam pulls the Khaqan of Chin from his elephant by lasso (1490)
f. 176v
Akvan Div flings Rustam into the sea (1490)
f. 190r
Rustam rescues Bizhan from the pit (1490)
f. 215v
The eleventh combat: Gudarz kills Piran (1490)
f. 227v
Afrasiyab sends his son Shida to Kay Khusrau (1490)
f. 229v
Kay Khusrau fights Shida (1490)
f. 248v
The execution of Afrasiyab (1490)
f. 258v
The coronation of Luhrasp (1490)
f. 263v
Gushtasp kills a wolf in Rum (1490)
f. 285v
Isfandiyar lassoes the Turanian hero Gurgsar (1490)
f. 293v
Isfandiyar kills Arjasp to rescue his sisters (1490)
f. 312r
Rustam shoots Isfandiyar in the eyes with a double-pointed arrow (1490)
f. 324v
Humay recognizes the child as her son (1490)
f. 331v
Iskandar executes Dara's murderers (1490)
f. 342r
Iskandar with Queen Qaydafa and her court (1490)
f. 365r
Ardashir recognizes Shapur during a polo game (1490)
f. 377r
Shapur goes to the court of Caesar (1490)
f. 386r
Bahram Gur's mount tramples Azada (1490)
f. 407r
Bahram Gur kills the dragon that had killed a youth (1490)
f. 465r
Anushirvan receives Caesar's locked chest and other presents (1490)
f. 491r
Khusrau Parviz goes to war in Azarbaijan (1490)
f. 500v
Bahram Chubina's night attack on the camp of Khusrau Parviz (1490)
f. 529r
Mihr Hurmuzd murders Khusrau Parviz (1490)
f. 540v
Bizhan kills Mahuy to avenge Yazdagird (1490)