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Lewis O. 51
 
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© Rare Book Department, Free Library of Philadelphia
Details
Accession Number:
Lewis O. 51
Gregorian Date:
16th century (second Half)
Origin:
Ottoman Baghdad ?
Ownership:
Seal of ownership of Muhammad Ja`far, 1151/1738.
Preface:
Abu Mansur
Folios extant in ms.:
467
Columns x Rows:
4 x 25
Page Size (h x w):
353 x 239 mm
Text Size (h x w):
225 x 128 mm
Script:
Nasta'liq
Sample Page Folio:
9r
Ms Type:
Codex
Ms Status:
Truncated
Completion Status:
Ready to upload to website
Illuminations in ms:
3
Illustrations in ms:
23 ( 21 Shahnama 1 Barzunama 1 other [ Bahmannama ] )
Illustration Records in archive:
Last updated by:
bilha
Date last updated:
2009-01-12 15:10
 
Public Notes
Although Simsar gave folio numbers for his list of paintings, the ms. was not paginated. This was done by Ch. Melville on 10 November 2008, following a preliminary recording of the ms. in June 2006, leading to some corrections in the printed catalogue (which is two folios out, most of the way, and three at the end).

This is one of the "truncated" copies of the Shahnama identified by Karin Ruhrdanz, which therefore places it in the late 16th century. These copies are characterised by the inclusion of a number of the "interpolated" epics and by the fact that they finish with the story of Iskandar.

The codex is rebound in a Persian gold stamped shagreen binding (360 x 250 mm), somewhat worn, and with some of the illuminations rubbed off. The outside covers show a blind-pressed medallion with pendants above and below and harmonised corner angles, all gracefully decorated with tendril traceries and dusted with gold. The doublures are lined with plain [orange] paper (Simsar). The paper is sometimes very thick and creamy, especially the pages with paintings.

The ms. begins (ff. 1v-2r) with a double illuminated carpet-page, for the 'older' (Abu Mansuri) preface (ff. 1v-7r), including the satire on Sultan Mahmud. The Shahnama text starts on f. 7v under an exquisite unvan. The rubrics are in red, blue or gold on a plain ground.

The gathering marks for the binding of the leaves are irregular; they are to be seen on top left corner of the recto page, starting with sheets with the final digit 4, up to 203-213-223r, resuming at 268 through to 301, and to 409, then 418.

The margins of the ms. have not been entirely cleanly trimmed, leaving visible the instructions for the wording of the rubrics on the edges of the page, e.g. at ff. 20r, 38r, 79r, 197r, 216r etc.

Most of the paintings are preceded by passages of chalipa (diagonal) script, but this is a decorative feature that occurs also throughout the ms., not simply where there are paintings (e.g. f. 333). Fol. 137r has an inner and an outer marginal ruling.

See the catalogue by Simsar, pp. 77-79.

Project Notes
Update with details and images taken ChM. 10 Nov. 2008, when the ms. was also paginated. Done.

New images entered for folios: 317r, 356r, 366v. Bilha

 
References
General Ref:
Ruhrdanz, K. About a group of truncated Shahnamas: A case study in the commercial production of illustrated manuscripts in the second part of the sixteenth century. (in Muqarnas) 14 (1997) pp. 118-34 Brill. Leiden. Netherlands.
Dating Ref:
Simsar, M.A. Oriental manuscripts of the John Frederick Lewis Collection in the Free Library of Philadelphia: a descriptive catalogue. Philadelphia. USA.
Origin Ref:
Ruhrdanz, K. About a group of truncated Shahnamas: A case study in the commercial production of illustrated manuscripts in the second part of the sixteenth century. (in Muqarnas) 14 (1997) pp. 118-34 Brill. Leiden. Netherlands.
Illustration Ref:
Simsar, M.A. Oriental manuscripts of the John Frederick Lewis Collection in the Free Library of Philadelphia: a descriptive catalogue. Philadelphia. USA.
 
 
Illustration in archive - 32     (back to top)
9r
sample page
Binding
f. 001r
Seals of ownership or library marks
f. 001v
Illuminated title page (verso side)
f. 007v
Illuminated unvan
f. 010r
Kayumars enthroned
f. 025r
The murder of Iraj
f. 033v
The Simurgh bids farewell to Sam's son
f. 060v
Rustam lifts Afrasiyab by the belt
f. 090r
Rustam discovers Suhrab's identity
f. 098v
The fire ordeal of Siyavush
f. 117r
Guruy executes Siyavush
f. 130r
Kay Khusrau crosses the Oxus with Farangis and Giv
f. 154r
The Iranians and Turanians fight a second time
f. 165r
Rustam kills Ashkabus and his horse
f. 182v
Akvan Div flings Rustam into the sea
f. 222r
Scene from the Barzunama
f. 244r
The seventh combat: Hujir kills Sipahram with a blow of his sword
f. 258r
Kay Khusrau kills Shida
f. 275v
The execution of Afrasiyab
f. 292r
Gushtasp plays polo before Caesar
f. 317r
f. 356r
f. 366v
Rustam kills Shaghad before dying
f. 395r
The execution of Faramarz
f. 437v
Scene from the Bahmannama
f. 447r
Iskandar executes Dara's murderers
f. 466r
Iskandar dies in Babylon