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Ryl Pers 932
Manchester, John Rylands University Library of Manchester (in index)
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© The John Rylands University Library, The University of Manchester
Accession Number:
Ryl Pers 932
Hijri Date:
949 Muharram
Gregorian Date:
1542 May (to nearest hijri month)
Ex Dr Edward Craven Hawtrey, Turner Macan, and the Kings of Oude.
Folios extant in ms.:
Columns x Rows:
4 x 23
Page Size (h x w):
320 x 192 mm
Text Size (h x w):
206 x 108 mm
Colophon Folio:
Sample Page Folio:
Ms Type:
Ms Status:
Completion Status:
Ready to upload to website
Illuminations in ms:
Illustrations in ms:
38 ( 37 Shahnama 1 other [ intro ] )
Illustration Records in archive:
Last updated by:
Date last updated:
2006-07-05 00:00:00
Public Notes
Modern European binding of scarlet Morocco, gilt stamped with the arms of Edward Craven Hawtrey. The ms. contains 604 ff., all remargined. The pagination is unreliable: the Persian foliation in the top left-hand margin ceases at f. 48 and is followed by two unnumbered folios; and two successive folios are numbered 253. Folios 365 and 366 are missing.

This is an historic copy, being one of those used in the edition by Turner Macan, whose signature is found on f. 1r.

The ms. contains a fine double illuminated title page on ff. 1v-2r for the start of the preface, and rich illuminated headings on ff. 15v (start of poem) and 298v (start of the reign of Luhrasp).

Text headings are written in blue against a delicate scroll work, in the normal Turkoman - Shiraz style. The colophon (f. 602r) is unsigned but gives the date Muharram 949 (April 1542).

The ms. contains 38 miniatures also in characteristic Shirazi style; B.W. Robinson, Persian paintings in the John Rylands Library, 1980, p. 163, has identified the work of two artists, Painter A responsible for the first 16 paintings and Painter B for the remaining 22: see Robinson's discussion of their respective merits.

It is noteworthy that the choice of scene for depiction is often quite unusual, the common selection often being bypassed, especially in the second part of the poem. For example, instead of one of Isfandiyar's exploits, the scene depicted is Isfandiyar's discussions witrh Gurgsar before he sent off for his Haft Khvan (f. 329v); likewise, instead of Shirin's suicide over Khusrau's grave, the artist depicts her standing before Shiruy (though not unveiled, as in the text), on. f. 591v. (Ch.M.).

The ms. was exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1967.

Additional references

B.W. Robinson, Persian miniature painting from collections in the British Isles, 1967, p. 102 (no. 143)

General Ref:
Norgren, J. & Davis, E. Preliminary index of Shah-nameh illustrations. University of Michigan. Ann Arbor. USA.
Dating Ref:
Colophon Extracted from the colophon of the work.
Origin Ref:
Robinson, B.W. Persian Paintings in the John Rylands Library A Descriptive Catalogue. Sotheby Parke Bernet. London. UK.
Illustration Ref:
Robinson, B.W. Persian Paintings in the John Rylands Library A Descriptive Catalogue. Sotheby Parke Bernet. London. UK.
Illustration in archive - 41     (back to top)
sample page
f. 001v
Illuminated title page (verso side) (1542)
f. 002r
Illuminated title page (recto side) (1542)
f. 007v
Firdausi and the poets of Ghazna (1542)
f. 015v
Illuminated unvan (1542)
f. 018v
Kayumars enthroned (1542)
f. 027v
Faridun and Zahhak's wiseman, Kundru (1542)
f. 042r
Manuchihr enthroned (1542)
f. 064r
Rustam kills Zal's white elephant (1542)
f. 070v
Nauzar is captured in battle with Afrasiyab (1542)
f. 078r
Rustam lifts Afrasiyab by the belt (1542)
f. 087v
Rustam's seventh labour: he kills the White Div (1542)
f. 096v
Kay Kavus airborne (1542)
f. 112v
Rustam discovers Suhrab's identity (1542)
f. 122r
The fire ordeal of Siyavush (1542)
f. 164v
Kay Khusrau's army besieges Bahman's castle (1542)
f. 193v
Fariburz marries Farangis (1542)
f. 211r
Rustam pulls the Khaqan of Chin from his elephant by lasso (1542)
f. 226r
Bizhan brought before Afrasiyab (1542)
f. 247v
Nastihan makes a night attack and is killed by Bizhan (1542)
f. 273r
Kay Khusrau throws Shida to the ground (1542)
f. 292r
The execution of Afrasiyab (1542)
f. 301v
The coronation of Luhrasp (1542)
f. 308r
Gushtasp kills a dragon in Rum (1542)
f. 318r
Bastur son of Zarir attacks the Turanians (1542)
f. 329v
Isfandiyar questions Gurgsar about the Brazen Fortress (1542)
f. 355r
Rustam shoots Isfandiyar in the eyes with a double-pointed arrow (1542)
f. 371r
Iskandar with Dara (1542)
f. 381v
Battle between the armies of Iskandar and the Fur (1542)
f. 389v
Iskandar kills a dragon (1542)
f. 402v
Ardashir and Ardavan fight (1542)
f. 408r
Ardashir recognizes Shapur during a polo game (1542)
f. 433v
Bahram Gur fights two lions to win the throne (1542)
f. 449v
Bahram Gur captures the Khaqan of Chin (1542)
f. 460r
Bahram Gur entertains Shangul and the seven monarchs (1542)
f. 477v
Anushirvan marches on Qalinius (1542)
f. 510r
Buzurjmihr predicts the contents of the locked chest (1542)
f. 525r
Hurmuzd watches a polo game (1542)
f. 539v
Ayin Gushasp's assassin is executed by Bahram Chubina (1542)
f. 561v
Bahram Chubina's night attack on the camp of Khusrau Parviz (1542)
f. 574r
Gurdiya is given a warm reception by Khusrau Parviz (1542)
f. 591v
Shirin unveils herself before Shiruy and his courtiers (1542)