The binding is laquered, Qajar, in quite a poor condition: the lacquer is covered with cracks, and yellowed; and torn on edges.The spine is of simple dark brown leather. Both outside covers represent battle scenes: On the front cover - an extremely crowded battle, hardly identifiable, a king (may be not: he is wearing a white turban, not a Qajar crown) on a white horse is cutting in half an old white bearded man. In the foreground there is a row of artillery guns. On the back outside cover: a king (in his Qajar crown, his courtier is holding a parasol over his head) on his brown horse is approaching an Indian king (according to his turban) on an elephant. They do not have any arms. However all their entourage are fighting. Some of them are on camels, some on elephants.
Inside covers are decorated with floral ornament over a red foreground, also in the lacquer technique. The decoration is organized in the traditional way, with three central medallions, one in a large (155 x 105 mm) almond shape, and two above and below lotus-like (45 x 30 mm). The ornament is in green, orange, yellow and red. The central medallion has a bird sitting in between the flowers. The frame is doubled by the wide corners, also decorated with a floral ornament in the same technique as the central medallions.
The text is in very small naskh in Indian ink, headings in red (plumbum) in nasta 'liq (with shekasta elements).
Condition is good. Restored, torn places are mainly in margins.
The text seems to be a full copy with the prose introduction (ff. 2v-7r) of the Baysanghur version. The satire on Mahmud (ff. 4v-5r) starts with a very odd incipit, but the start of the Shahnama (f. 7v) is normative incipit.
The text is arranged in four central columns, and carried on in the margins in a fifth column (continuing the text from the central written area).
There are several interpolations, most particularly a Barzunama, inserted as usual after the story of Bizhan and Manizha.
Illuminations. The beginnings of both prose preface and poem are decorated with 'unvans. The first seems to have survived some water damage; it is also quite large (173 x 150 mm), the paints faded, torn in many places, and details seem to be executed by another hand. A second (150 x 153 mm) (f.206v) is of neater design, in gold and polychrome, where blue is not so dominant, having almost the same space as orange, red and pink. There is white but no green. The decoration of the fifth column joins the unvan from the right, which makes it assymetric. The margins are covered with floral ornament in gold and polychrome. There is also imitation of the gold interlinear clouds of the first two folios. (F.A.).
A. Abdalyan & R. Amirbekyan, Kadjarskaya miniatyura Matenadarana, Iran and Caucasus 2 (1998), pp. 83-94
R. Goldenweiser, The miniature paintings of the Barzu-nama. An illustrated interpolation to a Qajar Shahnama from Matenadaran collection, Iran and Caucasus 3-4 (1999), pp. 217-24