view archive:
Br. Or. 4
Cambridge, University Library (in index)
Click the boxes to tag/un-tag this page in a workbook

Sample Page
© Cambridge University Library. Reproduced by kind permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library
This record is incomplete and has not been verified by the project. It is a work in progress. Use this information with caution.
Accession Number:
Br. Or. 4
Gregorian Date:
19th century (first Half)
Iran, Qajar
E.G. Browne
Folios extant in ms.:
Text Size (h x w):
250 x 110 mm
Nast 'aliq
Sample Page Folio:
Ms Type:
Ms Status:
Completion Status:
Search not completed
Illustrations in ms:
51 ( 51 Shahnama )
Illustration Records in archive:
Last updated by:
Date last updated:
2011-03-05 20:49
Public Notes
This is an album, where 51 paintings in typical early Qajar style and palette are bound together. The production would seem to date from the reign of Fath 'Ali Shah.

The book has a light green leather binding (268 x 115) in Europe with marble paper on the inside covers (in light and dark green with white and gold). The folios were significantly trimmed when it was bound: some of the inscriptions which accompanied the images on the margins were cut off, e.g. f. 10r.

Provenance: the album came from E.G. Browne's collection in 1936. This date is seen on both Browne's ex libris on the inside front cover (both in Latin and Persian) and the Cambridge University seal (f. 1r: 20 July 1936).

There is no text except the titles in Persian given either on the reverse side of the illustrated folios or next to them in the margins. The pictures are surrounded by frames of gold flowers and birds.

Two artists were responsible for producing the paintings. It is possible that they were also producing the frames.

The first produced ff. 1-9, his frames are simple (decorated with 5-petal daisies in oxidized gold), he loves cats, good at landscapes and faces, his Rustam wears his traditional outfit.

The second painter has more sophisticated frames decorated with flowers and birds, but the pictures are less imaginative: no dress code, Rustam and Kay Kavus dressed up in exactly the same costumes. One of the most interesting pictures is on f. 7 – the Battle of Gudarz and Tus. (FA)

Project Notes
Page size?
Illustration in archive - 52     (back to top)
sample page
f. 001r
Rustam mortally wounds Suhrab
f. 002r
Bahram Gur and the Faghfur of Chin exchange messages
f. 003r
Manuchihr kills Tur in battle
f. 004r
f. 005r
Kay Kavus sends a message to Caesar and Afrasiyab
f. 006r
Faramarz captures Surkha, son of Afrasiyab
f. 007r
Rustam and the seven champions prepare to encounter Afrasiyab
f. 008r
Kay Khusrau says a final farewell to his loyal comanders
f. 009r
Guruy executes Siyavush
f. 010r
Qaran captures the Alanic Fortress
f. 011r
f. 012r
Kay Kavus replies to Siyavush
f. 013r
The murder of Iraj
f. 014r
Faridun replies to the second message of Salm and Tur
f. 015v
Zavara and Faramarz kill Isfandiyar's sons Nush-Azar and Mihr-i Nush
f. 016v
Kay Kavus returns to Iran and rewards Rustam for his deeds
f. 017v
Afrasiyab executes Nauzar
f. 018v
Rustam's fifth labour: he lassoes Aulad
f. 019v
Kay Kavus sends a message to Zal and Rustam
f. 020v
Rustam and the seven champions prepare to encounter Afrasiyab
f. 021v
Zal counsels Kay Kavus
f. 022v
Rustam mortally wounds Suhrab
f. 023v
Rustam destroys the army of Turan
f. 024v
f. 025r
f. 026r
Kay Kavus airborne
f. 027r
Luhrasp speaks with his son Gushtasp
f. 028r
The birth of Manuchihr
f. 029r
Faridun defeats Zahhak
f. 031r
Rustam's first labour: Rakhsh kills a lion
f. 032r
The Iranians send a message to Zal in Sistan, seeking his aid
f. 033r
Rustam kills Ashkabus and his horse
f. 035r
Zal marries Rudaba
f. 036r
Afrasiyab executes Nauzar
f. 037r
The third battle between Nauzar and Afrasiyab
f. 038r
Bizhan slaughters the wild boar
f. 039r
Rustam's third labour: he kills a dragon
f. 040r
The first combat of Rustam and Isfandiyar
f. 041r
Rustam's fourth labour: he kills the witch
f. 042r
Kay Khusrau rides into the desert with his followers
f. 043r
Faridun fords the Dijla on the way to fight Zahhak
f. 044r
Rustam's seventh labour: he kills the White Div
f. 045r
The fire ordeal of Siyavush
f. 046r
Kay Kavus sends a message to Zal and Rustam
f. 047r
Faridun receives the severed head of Salm
f. 048r
Zavara executes Surkha to avenge Siyavush
f. 049r
A full scale battle between the armies of Iran and Turan
f. 050r
Siyavush in Sudaba's private quarters
f. 051r
Siyavush visits Sudaba's quarters a second time
f. 052r
A full scale battle between the armies of Iran and Turan