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Walters Ms. W.603, Book of kings (Shahnama)
Book of kings (Shahnama)
Authority name: Firdawsī
As-written name: Abū al-Qāsim Ḥasan ibn Isḥāq Firdawsī Ṭūsī
Name, in vernacular: ابو القاسم حسن بن اسحاق فردوسى طوسى
Note: Author dates preferred by cataloger: d. 411 or 416 AH / 1020-5 CE
This is an illuminated and illustrated incomplete copy of the Shāhnāmah (Book of kings) by Abū al-Qāsim Firdawsī (d. 411 or 416 AH / 1020-5 CE), dating between the eleventh century AH / seventeenth CE and the thirteenth century AH / nineteenth CE. The text, written in black nastaʿlīq script with chapter/section headings in red on a gold ground, is illustrated with seventeen paintings. Two of the illustrations (fols. 2b and 269a) are in a clearly recognizable Qajar style and certainly date to the thirteenth century AH / nineteenth CE. The others may be late Safavid, repainted in the thirteenth century AH / nineteenth CE.
11th century AH / 17th CE -- 13th century AH / 19th CE
Literary -- Poetry
The primary language in this manuscript is Persian.
Catchwords: Written on versos, usually quoting a hemistich
19.5 cm wide by 34.0 cm high
13.0 cm wide by 25.5 cm high
- Columns: 4
- Ruled lines: 25
- Framing lines in red, green, blue, black, and gold
- Title: Shāhnāmah
- Author: Firdawsī
- Text note: Text incomplete at beginning and end
- Hand note: Written in black nastaʿlīq script with chapter/section headings in red on a gold ground
- Decoration note: Seventeen illustrations; chapter/section headings in illuminated panels; framing lines in red, green, blue, black, and gold
Upper board outside:
- Title: Binding
- Form: Binding
- Label: This black lacquer binding with central oval and pendants is decorated with gold flowers and dates to the thirteenth century AH / nineteenth century CE.
Upper board inside:
- Title: Doublure
- Form: Doublure
- Label: This painted doublure dates to the thirteenth century AH / nineteenth century CE.
- Title: Sulṭān Maḥmūd of Ghaznī; Iyāz (his slave); and the poets Firdawsī, ʿUnṣurī, and ʿAsjadī
- Form: Illustration
- Title: Bahrām Gūr wrestles with two Indian champions in the presence of Shangul, king of India
- Form: Illustration
The binding is not original.
Dates to the thirteenth century AH / nineteenth CE; lacquer boards (no flap); floral design in the central ovals and pendants; doublures decorated with a plant with yellow flowers (perhaps daffodils)
Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters bequest
Storey, C. A. Persian Literature: A Bio-Bibliographical Survey, Vol. 1. (London: Luzac, 1927- ), 112-159.
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
The Walters Art Museum
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.