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Walters Ms. W.599, The lights of Canopus

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Shelf mark

W.599


Manuscript

The lights of Canopus


Text title
Anvār-i Suhaylī

Vernacular: انوار سهيلى


Author

Authority name: Kāshifī, Ḥusayn Vāʻiẓ, d. 1504 or 5

As-written name: Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī Vāʿiẓ Kāshifī

Name, in vernacular: حسين بن على واعظ كاشفى

Note: Author dates preferred by cataloger: d. 910 AH / 1504-5 CE


Abstract

This is an illuminated and illustrated copy of Anvār-i Suhaylī (The lights of Canopus), dating to the thirteenth century AH / nineteenth CE. It is a Persian version of Kalīlah wa-Dimnah (The fables of Bīdpāy). It was completed on 26 Jumādá I 1264 AH / 1847 CE by Mīrzā Raḥīm. The text is written in nastaʿliq script in black and red ink, revealing the influence of shikastah script. There are 123 paintings illustrating the text. The Qajar binding is original to the manuscript.


Date

26 Jumādá I 1264 AH / 1847 CE


Origin

Iran


Scribe

As-written name: Mīrzā Raḥīm navādah-i Mīrzā Amīn Afshār

Name, in vernacular: ميرزا رحيم نواده ميرزا امين افشار


Form

Book


Genre

Literary -- Prose


Language:

The primary language in this manuscript is Persian.


Colophon
fol. 193a:
  1. Transliteration: tamām shud Kitāb-i Anvār-i Suhaylī bi-ʿawn Allāh Taʿālá va-ḥusn tawfīqih dar rūz-i dū shanbah bīst va-shashum /1/ shahr-i Jumādá al-avval 1264 itmām paḏīraft katabahu Mīrzā Raḥīm navādah-i Mīrzā Amīn Afshār /2/
  2. Comment: Gives the name of the scribe and the date of copying

Support material

Paper

Probably Persian paper


Extent

Foliation: i+193+i


Collation

Catchwords: Written obliquely on versos


Dimensions

21.5 cm wide by 35.0 cm high


Written surface

13.5 cm wide by 26.5 cm high


Layout
  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 25
  3. Framing lines in blue, black, and gold

Contents:
fols. 1b - 193a:
  1. Title: Anvār-i Suhaylī
  2. Author: Kāshifī, Ḥusayn Vāʻiẓ, d. 1504 or 5
  3. Scribe: Mīrzā Raḥīm navādah-i Mīrzā Amīn Afshār
  4. Incipit: حضرت حكيم على الاطلاق جلت حكمته كه...
  5. Hand note: Written in nastaʿliq script, influenced by shikastah script, in black and red ink
  6. Decoration note: One hundred twenty-three illustrations; incipit page with illuminated headpiece (fol. 1b); framing lines in blue, black, and gold

Decoration:

fol. 1b:

  1. W.599, fol. 1b
  2. Title: Incipit page with illuminated headpiece
  3. Form: Incipit; headpiece

fol. 2b:

  1. W.599, fol. 2b
  2. Title: A scholar
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Label: This illustration depicts a scholar (perhaps Barzūyah, the physician of Nūshirwān, who deputed the author to seek the work known to us as the Fables of Bīdpāy).

fol. 5b:

  1. W.599, fol. 5b
  2. Title: King Humāyūn Fāl hunting in the company of his vizier, Khujastah Rāy
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 12b:

  1. W.599, fol. 12b
  2. Title: Two pigeons, Bāzandah and Navāzandah
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 16a:

  1. W.599, fol. 16a
  2. Title: Two hawks and a crow’s nest
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 16b:

  1. W.599, fol. 16b
  2. Title: An old woman’s cat in the courtyard being shot by an archer
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 17b:

  1. W.599, fol. 17b
  2. Title: A poor father and his son
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 21b:

  1. W.599, fol. 21b
  2. Title: An old merchant advising his three sons
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 22a:

  1. W.599, fol. 22a
  2. Title: The king of Ḥalab (Aleppo) and his two sons
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 24a:

  1. W.599, fol. 24a
  2. Title: A farmer’s corn supply being attacked by mice
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 25b:

  1. W.599, fol. 25b
  2. Title: A monkey and a carpenter
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 26b:

  1. W.599, fol. 26b
  2. Title: Ghānim, his friend Salīm, and a stone lion near a river
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 30a:

  1. W.599, fol. 30a
  2. Title: A fox and a drum
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 31b:

  1. W.599, fol. 31b
  2. Title: A king and a dervish
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 32a:

  1. W.599, fol. 32a
  2. Title: A shoemaker and his unfaithful wife
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 33b:

  1. W.599, fol. 33b
  2. Title: Two sparrows set on fire and a falcon
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 35a:

  1. W.599, fol. 35a
  2. Title: A despotic king, a dog, a fox, a man, and a horse, all with maimed legs
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 35b:

  1. W.599, fol. 35b
  2. Title: A snake and a crow’s chicks
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 36a:

  1. W.599, fol. 36a
  2. Title: A heron, a crab, and a fish
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 37a:

  1. W.599, fol. 37a
  2. Title: A jackal devours a hare
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 38a:

  1. W.599, fol. 38a
  2. Title: An evil lion, tricked by a hare, looks into a well and sees his reflection
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 39b:

  1. W.599, fol. 39b
  2. Title: Two fishermen and three fishes
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 40b:

  1. W.599, fol. 40b
  2. Title: A tortoise carries a scorpion on its back across a river
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 43a:

  1. W.599, fol. 43a
  2. Title: A goose and a reflection of the moon in the water
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 44a:

  1. W.599, fol. 44a
  2. Title: A hawk and a hen
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 44b:

  1. W.599, fol. 44b
  2. Title: A gardener and a nightingale
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 46a:

  1. W.599, fol. 46a
  2. Title: A leopard devouring the hunter of a fox
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 46b:

  1. W.599, fol. 46b
  2. Title: A lion, a crow, a wolf, two jackals, and a rabbit devouring a camel
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 48a:

  1. W.599, fol. 48a
  2. Title: Tīṭawá birds of India, a tortoise, and ducks
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 49b:

  1. W.599, fol. 49b
  2. Title: A sīmurgh and an army of birds attacks the spirit of the ocean
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 50a:

  1. W.599, fol. 50a
  2. Title: A lion king devours the ox Shanzabah
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 51b:

  1. W.599, fol. 51b
  2. Title: A man, five monkeys, and a bird
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 52a:

  1. W.599, fol. 52a
  2. Title: Two associates, the shrewd and the careless, on horseback
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 53a:

  1. W.599, fol. 53a
  2. Title: A frog, a snake, and a crab
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 53b:

  1. W.599, fol. 53b
  2. Title: A confrontation between a lawyer and his party and a man who was hiding in a hollow tree
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 55a:

  1. W.599, fol. 55a
  2. Title: A gardener and a bear
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 56a:

  1. W.599, fol. 56a
  2. Title: A bear trying to kill flies on a gardener’s face with a large rock
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 56b:

  1. W.599, fol. 56b
  2. Title: A merchant and a friend to whom the merchant entrusted some iron
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 58b:

  1. W.599, fol. 58b
  2. Title: A hungry fox, a jackal, and a piece of hide
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 59a:

  1. W.599, fol. 59a
  2. Title: A donkey without a tail
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 61b:

  1. W.599, fol. 61b
  2. Title: A king and his equerry readying for a race
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 63b:

  1. W.599, fol. 63b
  2. Title: A king and a holy man meeting in front of a cave
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 64b:

  1. W.599, fol. 64b
  2. Title: A blind man holds a snake that he has mistakenly taken for his whip
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 65b:

  1. W.599, fol. 65b
  2. Title: A dervish, mistaken for a thief and about to be beheaded, is saved by an old shaykh
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 67b:

  1. W.599, fol. 67b
  2. Title: A Kashmiri merchant and his two wives
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 68a:

  1. W.599, fol. 68a
  2. Title: A merchant’s unfaithful wife in the company of her lover’s slave
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 69a:

  1. W.599, fol. 69a
  2. Title: Three envious men with a sack of gold are questioned by a king
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 69b:

  1. W.599, fol. 69b
  2. Title: Three envious men being executed on the order of the king
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 71a:

  1. W.599, fol. 71a
  2. Title: The Lord of the Marches and his falconer slave from Balkh
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 72a:

  1. W.599, fol. 72a
  2. Title: A falcon plucks out the eye of a liar servant in the presence of the Lord of the Marches and his wife
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 73b:

  1. W.599, fol. 73b
  2. Title: A mouse named Zīrak gnaws at a net to free pigeons
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 75b:

  1. W.599, fol. 75b
  2. Title: A partridge and a hawk
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 77a:

  1. W.599, fol. 77a
  2. Title: A snake, saved by a camel driver, threatens to bite him
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 79a:

  1. W.599, fol. 79a
  2. Title: A crow brings a mouse to see its tortoise friend
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 80a:

  1. W.599, fol. 80a
  2. Title: A man in conversation with his wife and a wolf
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Label: These illustrations depict a man in conversation with his wife about amassing wealth and a wolf about to feast on a hunter, a deer the hunter killed, and a boar that killed the hunter.

fol. 81b:

  1. W.599, fol. 81b
  2. Title: A greedy cat killed by the owner of pigeons
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 83a:

  1. W.599, fol. 83a
  2. Title: A deer, a crow, and a mouse rescue their tortoise friend caught in a net
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 84a:

  1. W.599, fol. 84a
  2. Title: Owls fight crows
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 86b:

  1. W.599, fol. 86b
  2. Title: The king of Kashmir, his favorite wife, and a youthful attendant
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 88b:

  1. W.599, fol. 88b
  2. Title: A flock of birds comes together to elect a leader
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 89b:

  1. W.599, fol. 89b
  2. Title: Four elephants in search of water come to a place inhabited by hares
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 91a:

  1. W.599, fol. 91a
  2. Title: A partridge and a quail in the company of an old cat
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 92a:

  1. W.599, fol. 92a
  2. Title: An old cat kills a partridge and a quail
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 93a:

  1. W.599, fol. 93a
  2. Title: Three robbers
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Label: This illustration depicts three robbers trying to steal the sheep from a holy man by trying to convince him that he had bought a dog instead.

fol. 95a:

  1. W.599, fol. 95a
  2. Title: A rich merchant and his wife being robbed while sleeping
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 95b:

  1. W.599, fol. 95b
  2. Title: Two robbers and a demon try to kill a holy man to steal his buffalo
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 96b:

  1. W.599, fol. 96b
  2. Title: A carpenter’s wife and her lover are spied on by the carpenter who hides under the bed
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 98a:

  1. W.599, fol. 98a
  2. Title: A group of monkeys attacked by four bears
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 100b:

  1. W.599, fol. 100b
  2. Title: A holy man
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Label: This illustration depicts a holy man who turns a mouse (brought by a crow) into a girl and hands her over to his disciple to be raised.

fol. 103a:

  1. W.599, fol. 103a
  2. Title: The son of a holy man lies dead, bitten by a snake
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 104a:

  1. W.599, fol. 104a
  2. Title: A snake who used to eat the young of sparrows being burned in a fire
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 106a:

  1. W.599, fol. 106a
  2. Title: A king and his son in the company of other relations
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 106b:

  1. W.599, fol. 106b
  2. Title: A king, a monkey, and a tortoise
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 107b:

  1. W.599, fol. 107b
  2. Title: A faithful monkey struggles with a robber in the presence of the sleeping king
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 111a:

  1. W.599, fol. 111a
  2. Title: A monkey rides on the back of a swimming tortoise
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 113b:

  1. W.599, fol. 113b
  2. Title: A lion attacks an ass belonging to a laundryman who was deceived by a fox
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 116b:

  1. W.599, fol. 116b
  2. Title: A holy man and his pregnant wife discuss the future of their baby
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 117b:

  1. W.599, fol. 117b
  2. Title: A holy man is puzzled after having killed the faithful weasel who killed a snake to protect the holy man's infant son
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 119a:

  1. W.599, fol. 119a
  2. Title: A king holding a dead falcon is offered a cup of water poisoned by a dead dragon
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 121b:

  1. W.599, fol. 121b
  2. Title: A mouse tries to release a cat caught in a net while a crow seated on a tree waits in ambush
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 124a:

  1. W.599, fol. 124a
  2. Title: A lion attacks the unfaithful wife of an old man while her lover on horseback runs away
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 124b:

  1. W.599, fol. 124b
  2. Title: A mouse gnaws at a net to release a cat caught in it
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 126b:

  1. W.599, fol. 126b
  2. Title: A crow catches a mouse and a frog who had tied themselves together by a cord as a sign of friendship
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 128b:

  1. W.599, fol. 128b
  2. Title: King Ibn Madīn and his son, whose eyes were plucked out after he killed the young of the king’s favorite lark
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 129b:

  1. W.599, fol. 129b
  2. Title: A group of thieves
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Label: This illustration depicts a group of thieves plotting against a dervish from Raqqah called Dānādil on his way to Mecca while a flock of cranes flies over.

fol. 130b:

  1. W.599, fol. 130b
  2. Title: An old woman and her cow
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Label: This illustration depicts an old woman speaking to her cow with a pot on its head. She mistook the cow for an angel of death come for her and instead instructs it to take her daughter Muhastī.

fol. 131b:

  1. W.599, fol. 131b
  2. Title: A jealous court musician, about to be executed, pleads his case for killing the king's favorite slave, also a musician
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 132a:

  1. W.599, fol. 132a
  2. Title: A physician attending to a sick man
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 132b:

  1. W.599, fol. 132b
  2. Title: The king of Turkistān and his courtiers
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 134b:

  1. W.599, fol. 134b
  2. Title: A holy man admonishes a wolf for his wicked designs on men’s sheep
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 135b:

  1. W.599, fol. 135b
  2. Title: An Arab of the desert in a Baghdad bakery angers the baker by eating more bread than he paid for
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 138b:

  1. W.599, fol. 138b
  2. Title: The jackal Farīsah converses with the lion king Kāmjū’ī
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 139b:

  1. W.599, fol. 139b
  2. Title: A dervish chases flies away from a honey pot with a fan
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 143a:

  1. W.599, fol. 143a
  2. Title: The ruler of Baghdad and his beautiful Chinese slave girl are entertained by musicians
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 143b:

  1. W.599, fol. 143b
  2. Title: A Chinese slave girl is lead away to be executed
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 145b:

  1. W.599, fol. 145b
  2. Title: A slave of an envious Baghdad merchant
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Label: This illustration depicts a slave of an envious Baghdad merchant who kills the merchant on the roof belonging to a holy man to put the blame on the latter.

fol. 148a:

  1. W.599, fol. 148a
  2. Title: An impoverished chamberlain of the king of Yemen steals a golden goblet
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 149b:

  1. W.599, fol. 149b
  2. Title: A lion and a jackal
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 151b:

  1. W.599, fol. 151b
  2. Title: A hunter with a lion, a jackal, and other animals
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 153a:

  1. W.599, fol. 153a
  2. Title: A tyrant buys a bundle of wood from a poor man in the presence of a reproaching holy man
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 154b:

  1. W.599, fol. 154b
  2. Title: An old monkey on a fig tree is visited by a boar who demands a share of the fruit
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 156a:

  1. W.599, fol. 156a
  2. Title: A European traveler visits a holy man of Qinnawj
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 157a:

  1. W.599, fol. 157a
  2. Title: A bleacher saves a crane
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 157b:

  1. W.599, fol. 157b
  2. Title: An older wife plucks out the black hairs from her husband’s beard in the presence of his younger wife
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 159a:

  1. W.599, fol. 159a
  2. Title: A hunter shares his catch with two students according to his promise
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 160b:

  1. W.599, fol. 160b
  2. Title: A crow admires the way a partridge walks and imitates its gait
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 165b:

  1. W.599, fol. 165b
  2. Title: King Solomon in the company of an angel, his courtiers, animals, birds, and a demon
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 167b:

  1. W.599, fol. 167b
  2. Title: King Hīlār of India and his wife Irān-dukht
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 170b:

  1. W.599, fol. 170b
  2. Title: King Hīlār of India, his wife Irān-dukht, and his concubine Bazm Afrūz
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 172a:

  1. W.599, fol. 172a
  2. Title: A king comes to consult a holy man after having accidentally killed a poor woodcutter
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 173a:

  1. W.599, fol. 173a
  2. Title: A treacherous maid lies dead after having been forced to ingest the poison she had prepared for her queen
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 174a:

  1. W.599, fol. 174a
  2. Title: Two pigeons and a supply of grain
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 178a:

  1. W.599, fol. 178a
  2. Title: The king of Ḥalab (Aleppo), his daughter, the vizier, and a goldsmith
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 180a:

  1. W.599, fol. 180a
  2. Title: The king of Fārs buys a slave from a merchant, not knowing that the slave is his son
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 181b:

  1. W.599, fol. 181b
  2. Title: A merchant’s daughter brings her jewels to the princess
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 182b:

  1. W.599, fol. 182b
  2. Title: A traveler is saved by a monkey
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 184b:

  1. W.599, fol. 184b
  2. Title: A traveler cures the princess and a malicious goldsmith is crucified
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 187a:

  1. W.599, fol. 187a
  2. Title: A prince with three companions
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 188b:

  1. W.599, fol. 188b
  2. Title: A butcher kills a cow for a peasant and his wife to be distributed as alms
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 190b:

  1. W.599, fol. 190b
  2. Title: A prince and his companions
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 192a:

  1. W.599, fol. 192a
  2. Title: Two hoopoes freed by an old man show him a box full of jewels
  3. Form: Illustration

Binding

The binding is original.

Lacquer boards (no flap); decorated with flowers and birds


Acquisition

Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters bequest


Bibliography

Losty, Jeremiah P. The Art of the Book in India. (London: British Library, 1982), 71, 87, 121-2.

Richard, Francis. Catalogue des manuscrits persans. (Paris: Bibliothèque nationale, 1989), nos. 358a, 381-3.

Schmitz, Barbara, et al. Islamic and Indian Manuscripts and Paintings in the Pierpont Morgan Library. (New York: Pierpont Morgan Library, 1997) 58, no. 17.

Natif, Mika. “The SOAS Anvār-i Suhaylī: The Journey of a 'Reincarnated' Manuscript.” Muqarnas 25 (2008): 331-358.


Contributors

Principal cataloger: Gacek, Adam

Catalogers: Landau, Amy; Smith, Sita

Editor: Bockrath, Diane

Conservators: Jewell, Stephanie; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Barrera, Christina; Emery, Doug; Herbert, Lynley; Noel, William; Simpson, Shreve; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.; Valle, Chiara


Publisher

The Walters Art Museum


License

Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/legalcode. It is requested that copies of any published articles based on the information in this data set be sent to the curator of manuscripts, The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21201.