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Walters Ms. W.606, Five poems (quintet)

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Shelf mark

W.606


Manuscript

Five poems (quintet)


Text title
Khamsah-i Niẓāmī

Vernacular: خمسه نظامى


Author

Authority name: Niẓāmī Ganjavī, 1140 or 41-1202 or 3

Supplied name: Ilyās ibn Yūsuf Niẓāmī Ganjavī

Name, in vernacular: الياس بن يوسف نظامى گنجوى

Note: Author dates preferred by cataloger: d. 605 AH / 1209 CE


Abstract

This is an illuminated and illustrated Khamsah (quintet) by Niẓāmī Ganjavī (d. 605 AH / 1209 CE), copied by Muḥammad Mūsá al-Mudhahhib ('the Limner') in Safavid Iran in 924 AH / 1518 CE. The manuscript opens with a double-page illustration (fols. 1b-2a), which is followed by a double-page illumination (fols. 2b-3a). In total, there are six Arabic colophons, one at the end of each of the first four poems and two for the two parts of the final poem (Kitāb-i Sharafnāmah-i Iskandarī and Kitāb-i Iqbālnāmah). The dates of these colophons indicate that the various poems were not executed consecutively. The writing of the text extended over a period of approximately three months, 6 Dhū al-Ḥijjah 923 AH / 1517 CE to 7 Rabīʿ I 924 AH / 1518 CE. The text is written in black nastaʿlīq script with blue subject/section headings. In addition to illuminated titlepieces and headpieces, there are twenty-six illustrations. The binding is not original to the manuscript.


Date

6 Dhū al-Ḥijjah 923 AH / 1517 CE -- 7 Rabīʿ I 924 AH / 1518 CE


Origin

Iran


Scribe

As-written name: Muḥammad Mūsá al-Mudhahhib

Name, in vernacular: محمد موسى المذهب

Known as: Mūsá al-Mudhahhib

Note: The scribe gives his name in the final colophon as Muḥammad al-mashhūr bi-Mūsá al-Mudhahhib, that is Muḥammad, known as Mūsá al-Mudhahhib ('the Limner').


Form

Book


Genre

Literary -- Poetry


Language:

The primary language in this manuscript is Persian. The secondary language of this manuscript is Arabic.


Colophon
fol. 368a:
  1. Transliteration: qad faragha min taḥrīr hadhā al-kitāb al-mawsūm bi-Iqbāl nānah /1/ Iskandarī min muṣannafāt afḍal al-shuʿarā wa- /2/ afṣaḥ al-bulaghā wa-akmal al-ḥukamā Shaykh Niẓāmī /3/ ʿalá yad al-ʿabd al-faqīr Muḥammad al-mashhūr /4/ bi-Mūsá al-Mudhahhib fī 5 /5/ Muḥarram sanat 924 /6/ m (= tamma) /7/ (fol. 368a)
  2. Comment: Six colophons in Arabic with the name of the scribe, dated to show that the various poems of the Khamsah were not executed consecutively; dates as follows: 29 Dhū al-Ḥijjah 923 AH (fol. 32a); 7 Rabīʿ I 924 AH (fol. 113a); Ṣafar 924 AH (fol. 169a); 6 Dhū al-Ḥijjah 923 AH (fol. 234a); 19 Muḥarram 924 AH (fol. 320a); 5 Muḥarram 924 AH (fol. 368a)

Support material

Paper

Laid paper


Extent

Foliation: i+368+i


Collation

Catchwords: Written obliquely on versos


Dimensions

17.0 cm wide by 29.5 cm high


Written surface

9.5 cm wide by 18.5 cm high


Layout
  1. Columns: 4
  2. Ruled lines: 21
  3. Text written horizontally and obliquely; framing lines in gold and blue

Contents:
fols. 1b - 368a:
  1. Title: Khamsah-i Niẓāmī
  2. Author: Niẓāmī Ganjavī, 1140 or 41-1202 or 3
  3. Scribe: Muḥammad Mūsá al-Mudhahhib
  4. Incipit: بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم هست كليد در كنج حكيم...
  5. Text note: Contains the following books: Makhzan al-asrār (fols. 2b-32a), Khusraw va Shīrīn (fols. 32b-113a), Laylá va Majnūn (fols. 113b-169a), Haft paykar (fols. 169b-234a), Sharafnāmah-i Iskandarī (fols. 234b-320a), and Iqbālnāmah (fols. 320b-368a)
  6. Hand note: Written in black nastaʿlīq script with blue subject/section headings
  7. Decoration note: Twenty-six illustrations; double-page illustration (fols. 1b-2a); double-page illumination (fols. 2b-3a); titlepieces (fols. 32b, 113b, 169b, 234b, and 320b); headpieces (fols. 32b, 113b, 169b, 234b, and 320b); framing lines in gold and blue

Decoration:

fol. 1b:

  1. W.606, fol. 1b
  2. Title: Double-page illustrated frontispiece
  3. Form: Illustration; frontispiece
  4. Label: This is the right side of a double-page illustrated frontispiece depicting a court scene with music and dancing.

fol. 2a:

  1. W.606, fol. 2a
  2. Title: Double-page illustrated frontispiece
  3. Form: Illustration; frontispiece
  4. Label: This is the left side of a double-page illustrated frontispiece depicting a royal pavilion and horses laden with gifts.

fol. 2b:

  1. W.606, fol. 2b
  2. Title: Double-page illuminated frontispiece
  3. Form: Frontispiece
  4. Text: Makhzan al-asrār
  5. Label: This is the right side of a double-page illuminated frontispiece for the first poem of the Khamsah, Makhzan al-asrār. The upper and lower panels have an inscription in Persian containing the name of the author.

fol. 3a:

  1. W.606, fol. 3a
  2. Title: Double-page illuminated frontispiece
  3. Form: Frontispiece
  4. Text: Makhzan al-asrār
  5. Label: This is the left side of a double-page illuminated frontispiece for the first poem of the Khamsah, Makhzan al-asrār. The upper and lower panels have an inscription in Persian containing the name of the author.

fol. 15a:

  1. W.606, fol. 15a
  2. Title: Anūshīrvān, his vizier Dastūr, and the owls
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Text: Makhzan al-asrār

fol. 32b:

  1. W.606, fol. 32b
  2. Title: Incipit with illuminated titlepiece
  3. Form: Incipit; titlepiece
  4. Text: Khusraw va Shīrīn
  5. Label: This illuminated incipit page introduces the second poem of the Khamsah, Khusraw va Shīrīn.

fol. 48a:

  1. W.606, fol. 48a
  2. Title: Khusraw watching Shīrīn bathing
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Text: Khusraw va Shīrīn

fol. 56a:

  1. W.606, fol. 56a
  2. Title: Khusraw kills a lion outside Shīrīn's tent
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Text: Khusraw va Shīrīn

fol. 61b:

  1. W.606, fol. 61b
  2. Title: Khusraw fights against Bahrām Chūbīnah
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Text: Khusraw va Shīrīn

fol. 75b:

  1. W.606, fol. 75b
  2. Title: Farhād carries Shīrīn on her horse
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Text: Khusraw va Shīrīn

fol. 100a:

  1. W.606, fol. 100a
  2. Title: Khusraw and Shīrīn in their bridal chamber
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Text: Khusraw va Shīrīn

fol. 106a:

  1. W.606, fol. 106a
  2. Title: Death of Shīrīn
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Text: Khusraw va Shīrīn
  5. Label: Shīrīn, having stabbed herself with a dagger, lies on her husband’s casket to die.

fol. 113b:

  1. W.606, fol. 113b
  2. Title: Incipit with illuminated titlepiece
  3. Form: Incipit; titlepiece
  4. Text: Laylá va Majnūn
  5. Label: This illuminated incipit page introduces the third poem of the Khamsah, Laylá va Majnūn.

fol. 126b:

  1. W.606, fol. 126b
  2. Title: Majnūn and his father visit the mosque in Mecca
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Text: Laylá va Majnūn

fol. 133b:

  1. W.606, fol. 133b
  2. Title: Nawfal and his men fight Laylá’s tribe
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Text: Laylá va Majnūn

fol. 161a:

  1. W.606, fol. 161a
  2. Title: Laylá and Majūn faint at the sight of each other
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Text: Laylá va Majnūn

fol. 169b:

  1. W.606, fol. 169b
  2. Title: Incipit with illuminated titlepiece
  3. Form: Incipit; titlepiece
  4. Text: Haft paykar
  5. Label: This illuminated incipit page introduces the fourth poem of the Khamsah, Haft paykar.

fol. 181a:

  1. W.606, fol. 181a
  2. Title: Bahrām Gūr kills a dragon
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Text: Haft paykar

fol. 188a:

  1. W.606, fol. 188a
  2. Title: Bahrām Gūr kills a wild ass while Fitnah plays the harp
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Text: Haft paykar

fol. 201a:

  1. W.606, fol. 201a
  2. Title: Bahrām Gūr in the yellow pavilion
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Text: Haft paykar

fol. 211a:

  1. W.606, fol. 211a
  2. Title: Bahrām Gūr in the blue pavilion
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Text: Haft paykar

fol. 217a:

  1. W.606, fol. 217a
  2. Title: Bahrām Gūr in the sandalwood pavilion
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Text: Haft paykar

fol. 227b:

  1. W.606, fol. 227b
  2. Title: Bahrām Gūr questions a shepherd who hung his dog on a tree
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Text: Haft paykar

fol. 234b:

  1. W.606, fol. 234b
  2. Title: Incipit with illuminated titlepiece
  3. Form: Incipit; titlepiece
  4. Text: Sharafnāmah-i Iskandarī
  5. Label: This illuminated incipit introduces the Sharafnāmah-i Iskandarī, the first part of the fifth poem of the Khamsah, Iskandarnāmah.

fol. 252a:

  1. W.606, fol. 252a
  2. Title: Alexander the Great fights the Ethiopians
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Text: Sharafnāmah-i Iskandarī

fol. 265b:

  1. W.606, fol. 265b
  2. Title: Alexander the Great laments the death of Darius
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Text: Sharafnāmah-i Iskandarī

fol. 278b:

  1. W.606, fol. 278b
  2. Title: Alexander the Great admires his portrait made by Nushābah
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Text: Sharafnāmah-i Iskandarī

fol. 297a:

  1. W.606, fol. 297a
  2. Title: Alexander the Great fights the army of the king of China
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Text: Sharafnāmah-i Iskandarī

fol. 309a:

  1. W.606, fol. 309a
  2. Title: Alexander the Great lassos a Russian warrior
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Text: Sharafnāmah-i Iskandarī

fol. 320b:

  1. W.606, fol. 320b
  2. Title: Incipit with illuminated titlepiece
  3. Form: Incipit; titlepiece
  4. Text: Iqbālnāmah
  5. Label: This illuminated incipit page introduces the Iqbālnāmah, the second part of the fifth poem of the Khamsah, Iskandarnāmah.

fol. 333b:

  1. W.606, fol. 333b
  2. Title: Hermes debates with seventy Greek scholars
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Text: Iqbālnāmah

fol. 350a:

  1. W.606, fol. 350a
  2. Title: The paradise of Shaddād Palace discovered by Alexander the Great
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Text: Iqbālnāmah

fol. 354b:

  1. W.606, fol. 354b
  2. Title: Alexander the Great and his men watch naked girls swim in the Sea of China
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Text: Iqbālnāmah

Binding

The binding is not original.

Gold-brushed, panel-stamped brown leather (with flap); partially legible verse inscriptions in the upper and lower frames; doublures of red leather with central medallions, pendants, and cornerpieces, also brushed with gold


Acquisition

Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters bequest


Bibliography

Storey, C. A. Persian Literature: A Bio-Bibliographical Survey, Vol. 2. (London: Luzac, 1927- ), 438-495.


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.