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Walters Ms. W.662, Turkish version of Sindbadnama

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Turkish version of Sindbadnama

Text title
Tuḥfet ül-aḫyār

Vernacular: تحفة الاخيار


Authority name: Kātib al-Samarqandī, Muḥammad ibn ʿAlī

As-written name: Muḥammad ibn ʿAlī Kātib al-Samarqandī al-Ẓāhīrī

Name, in vernacular: محمد بن علي كاتب السمرقندي الظهيري


As-written name: ʿAbdülkerīm bin Muḥammed

Name, in vernacular: عبد الكريم بن محمد


This is an Ottoman illustrated and illuminated copy of the Tuḥfet ül-aḫyār, which is an Ottoman Turkish version of the well-known story of Sindbad (Sindbādnāmah), written by ʿAbdülkerīm bin Muḥammed during the reign of Sultan Süleyman (Soliman) (reg. 926 AH / 1520 CE -- 974 AH / 1566 CE). The text is written in black naskh script with incidentals in gold and red, and chapter headings are in gold. The manuscript dates to the tenth century AH / sixteenth CE and opens with an illuminated incipit page (fol. 1b). There are a total of six illustrations.


10th century AH / 16th CE








The primary language in this manuscript is Turkish, Ottoman (1500-1928). The secondary language of this manuscript is Persian.

Support material


Laid paper


Foliation: i+142+ii

Last folio left blank


Catchwords: Occasionally written obliquely on versos



13.0 cm wide by 20.5 cm high

Written surface

7.0 cm wide by 13.5 cm high

  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 19
  3. Framing lines in red, black, and blue

fols. 1b - 142b:
  1. Title: Tuḥfet ül-aḫyār
  2. Authors: Kātib al-Samarqandī, Muḥammad ibn ʿAlī; ʿAbdülkerīm bin Muḥammed
  3. Incipit: حمدنا محمود وثنائنا معدود ...
  4. Text note: Text contains words and phrases in Arabic and Persian: Persian equivalents to the Arabic given between the lines in red; Turkish meanings written in margins
  5. Hand note: Written in small naskh script in black ink with some words in gold and red; chapter headings in gold
  6. Decoration note: Six illustrations; illuminated incipit page (fol. 1b) containing a headpiece and the doxological formula (basmalah); illuminated text markers


fol. 1b:

  1. W.662, fol. 1b
  2. Title: Illuminated incipit with headpiece
  3. Form: Incipit; headpiece
  4. Label: This illuminated incipit page has a headpiece inscribed with the doxological formula (basmalah) in white tawqīʿ script on gold background.

fol. 12a:

  1. W.662, fol. 12a
  2. Title: Sindbād instructing the king's son
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Label: The inscription in the panel over the door on the right reads: yā Fattāḥ (oh, Opener).

fol. 24b:

  1. W.662, fol. 24b
  2. Title: One of the king's wives attempting to seduce the prince
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Label: The inscription in the panel on the right reads: al-sulṭān al-ʿādil (the just ruler).

fol. 28b:

  1. W.662, fol. 28b
  2. Title: A meeting between the viziers and the king
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Label: Seven court officials (viziers) plead with the king for the release of the prince due to false accusations made by a woman.

fol. 33a:

  1. W.662, fol. 33a
  2. Title: Confectioner directing a parrot to watch his unfaithful wife
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Label: A confectioner is shown directing a parrot to keep watch over his unfaithful wife. The inscription above the door reads: al-sulṭān (the ruler).

fol. 52b:

  1. W.662, fol. 52b
  2. Title: Prince hunting with his father's ministers
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 76a:

  1. W.662, fol. 76a
  2. Title: Old woman convincing a young woman by means of a crying dog
  3. Form: Illustration


The binding is not original.

Modern brown leather (with flap)


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters bequest


Renda, Günsel. "'Sindbādnāma': An Early Ottoman Illustrated Manuscript Unique in Iconography and Style," Muqarnas 21 (Essays in Honor of J. M. Rogers) (2004): 311-322.

For the various versions of the this story see “Sindbād al-Ḥakīm (Syntipas).” Encyclopedia of Islam, 2nd ed, Vol. 2.


Principal cataloger: Gacek, Adam

Catalogers: Landau, Amy; Smith, Sita

Copy 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.