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