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Ms 311
Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum (in index)
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© The Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge
Accession Number:
Ms 311
Hijri Date:
Gregorian Date:
1620 (to nearest hijri year)
Astarabad ?
William Morris from Kelmscott House, Hammersmith; Wilfrid Scawen Blunt in 1900, bequethed by him to the Fitzwilliam Museum, in 1922.
Folios extant in ms.:
Columns x Rows:
4 x 29
Page Size (h x w):
370 x 245 mm
Text Size (h x w):
255 x 155 mm
Colophon Folio:
Sample Page Folio:
Ms Type:
Ms Status:
Completion Status:
Ready to upload to website
Illuminations in ms:
Illustrations in ms:
68 ( 1 frontispiece(s) 67 Shahnama )
Illustration Records in archive:
Last updated by:
Date last updated:
2010-06-11 23:00
Public Notes
The manuscript has the ex libris of the Fitzwilliam Museum on the back flyleaf. There are Chinese seal marks and inscriptions on several guard leaves (ff. 272v-273v, etc.).

The ms. has a prose Preface on ff. 1v-6r and the text of the poem from ff. 6v to 440r. Preface has half a page of formal ornament, on the title page; there is a double page spread on ff. 6v-7r at the start of the poem.

A scribe's note on the last page states that there are 82 pictures in the book, though now there are only 68 miniatures left. This implies some text/folios must be missing too, presumably from the beginning of the ms. - it is unusual that the first painting is not till f. 56, but thereafter it is quite heavily illustrated.

This is an interesting and idiosyncratic mansucript that deserves fuller study.

Project Notes
Included in the exhibition, Epic of rhe Persian Kings: the art of Ferdowsi's Shahnameh, Sept. 2010 - Jan. 2011.
General Ref:
Wormald, F. & Giles P.M. A descriptive catalogue of the additional illuminated manuscripts in the Fitzwilliam Museum acquired between 1895 and 1979. 1 pp. 301-302 Cambridge. UK.
General Ref:
Robinson, B.W. Persian miniature painting from the collections in the British Isles. (in Large Picture Book No. 33) HMSO. London. UK.
General Ref:
Robinson, B.W. A descriptive catalogue of the Persian paintings in the Bodleian Library. pp. 171 Clarendon Press. Oxford. UK.
Dating Ref:
Colophon Extracted from the colophon of the work.
Origin Ref:
Wormald, F. & Giles P.M. A descriptive catalogue of the additional illuminated manuscripts in the Fitzwilliam Museum acquired between 1895 and 1979. 1 pp. 301-302 Cambridge. UK.
Illustration in archive - 69     (back to top)
sample page
f. 006r
Firdausi and the poets of Ghazna (1621)
f. 007r
Illuminated title page (recto side) (1621)
f. 056r
Rustam's first labour: Rakhsh kills a lion (1621)
f. 057r
Rustam's third labour: he kills a dragon (1621)
f. 059r
Rustam's seventh labour: he kills the White Div (1621)
f. 071r
Rustam knocks down Tus in the presence of Kay Kavus (1620)
f. 082v
The fire ordeal of Siyavush (1620)
f. 090v
Siyavush plays polo before Afrasiyab (1620)
f. 093r
Siyavush receives a kingship from Afrasiyab (1621)
f. 095v
Siyavush fights Guruy Zirih (1620)
f. 100r
Guruy executes Siyavush (1621)
f. 105r
Rustam kills Pilsam (1621)
f. 105v
Rustam fights Afrasiyab, Human and the Turanians (1621)
f. 108r
Giv finds Kay Khusrau in Turan (1621)
f. 113v
Kay Kavus gives up throne in favour of Kay Khusrau (1621)
f. 121v
The Iranians mourn Farud (1621)
f. 127r
Tazhav mortally wounds Bahram (1621)
f. 139v
Rustam kills Ashkabus and his horse (1621)
f. 141v
Rustam captures and kills Kamus (1621)
f. 147v
Rustam pulls the Khaqan of Chin from his elephant by lasso (1621)
f. 155r
Akvan Div flings Rustam into the sea (1621)
f. 159v
Bizhan brought before Afrasiyab (1621)
f. 161r
Bizhan is brought to the pit (1621)
f. 167r
Rustam removes the stone from the mouth of Bizhan's pit (1621)
f. 175v
Bizhan kills Human (1621)
f. 182v
Giv fights Lahhak and Farshidvard (1621)
f. 185v
The sixth combat: Bizhan kills Ruyin (1621)
f. 186v
The eleventh combat: Gudarz fights Piran (1621)
f. 196v
Kay Khusrau kills Shida (1621)
f. 211r
Afrasiyab is taken out of the water (1621)
f. 217v
The coronation of Luhrasp (1621)
f. 221v
Gushtasp kills a wolf in Rum (1621)
f. 223r
Gushtasp kills a dragon in Rum (1621)
f. 224v
Gushtasp kills Ilyas in combat (1621)
f. 232r
Isfandiyar kills Bidarafsh (1621)
f. 236v
Jamasp releases Isfandiyar (1621)
f. 240v
Isfandiyar's second labour: he fights the lions (1621)
f. 241v
Isfandiyar's fourth labour: he kills the sorceress (1621)
f. 245r
Isfandiyar kills Arjasp to rescue his sisters (1621)
f. 249r
Isfandiyar on the march to Zabul (1621)
f. 250r
Zal greets Bahman (1621)
f. 250v
Rustam kicks aside the rock pushed by Bahman (1621)
f. 259r
Rustam shoots Isfandiyar in the eyes with a double-pointed arrow (1621)
f. 263r
Rustam kills Shaghad before dying (1621)
f. 267r
Rashnavad finds Darab asleep by a ruined castle (1621)
f. 270r
The enthronement of Dara, son of Darab (1621)
f. 272v
Dara is killed by his own ministers (1621)
f. 279v
Iskandar kills Fur (1621)
f. 281v
Iskandar visits Qaydafa disguised as a messenger (1620)
f. 285r
Iskandar and the talking tree (1621)
f. 290v
Gulnar sees Ardashir and falls in love with him (1621)
f. 295r
Ardashir hangs Haftvad and his eldest son Shahuy (1621)
f. 311r
Bahram Gur hunts in the company of Azada (1621)
f. 315r
Bahram Gur fights two lions to win the throne (1621)
f. 317v
Lambak the water carrier entertains Bahram Gur (1621)
f. 323v
Bahram Gur marries Arzu, the daughter of Mahyar the jeweller (1621)
f. 327v
Bahram Gur kills the dragon that had killed a youth (1621)
f. 328v
Bahram Gur helps the landlord's cow to produce milk again (1621)
f. 335r
Bahram Gur kills a dragon in India (1621)
f. 354r
Buzurjmihr under the tree with the speaking snake (1621)
f. 362r
Buzurjmihr predicts the contents of the locked chest (1621)
f. 366v
Buzurjmihr demonstrates how to play the game of chess (1620)
f. 373v
Anushirvan gives advice to his son, Hurmuzd (1621)
f. 383r
Bahram Chubina goes to fight Sava Shah (1621)
f. 396v
Bahram Chubina's night attack on the camp of Khusrau Parviz (1621)
f. 402r
Khusrau Parviz hears from the monk again (1621)
f. 408v
The angel Surush rescues Khusrau Parviz (1621)
f. 429v
Mihr Hurmuzd murders Khusrau Parviz (1621)
f. 434v
Sa'd-i Vaqqas kills Rustam (1621)