Portrait painting under the Ottomans continued without interruption from the reign of Mehmet II and it is perhaps the interest in this tradition that led to the production of medallioned genealogies, or silsanama. The most famous of these was called the Zubdat al-Tawarikh ('The Cream of Histories'), and in the text, the author, Luqman-Ashuri, describes and discusses a range of subjects including Paradise, Hell, the seven climes, the seas, Arabia, the holy cities and wonders of the eastern lands (although in the present copy most of these discussions are lacking). The second half is devoted to the genealogy and events of the Prophets, the ancient Persian kings and Ottoman sultans from the reign of Süleyman the Magnificent to that of Murad III (1574-95), all of whom are depicted seated in roundels. There are at least four other known sixteenth century copies of the Zubdat al-Tawarikh, one of which is in the Al-Sabah Collection, and is dated circa 1580 (Marilyn Jenkins (ed.), Islamic Art in the Kuwait National Museum, London 1983, p. 137). Others are in the Chester Beatty Library (Ms.414, accession number n2002071056) and the Badische Landesbibliothek, Karlsruhe (Hs. Rastatt 201, Die Karlsruher Türkenbeute, Munich, 1991, pp.269-373). Another silsanameh, though not a Zubdat al-Tawarikh was in these Rooms, 8 October 1991, lot 114.
The present copy, which is bound with a text dated 1593, and includes miniatures typical of the style of painting of that date, must have been produced either during the author's lifetime or shortly afterwards. Although the dates of Luqman al-Ashuri are unknown, his text Zubdat al-Tawarikh continues to the regin of Murad III and he must, therefore, have lived until at least 1575. The Shajrat al-Nabawiya which is bound together with the Zubdat in the present manuscript was a popular text, different versions of which were developed by various authors (the present being Yusuf bin Hassan bin Abd al-Hadi).
A note at the end of this manuscript mentions that it was formerly in the collection of Selim al-Awranuwsi, Governor of Bosnia (AH1239/1823 AD). An Ottoman copy of the Khulasat al-Itibar which shared very similar paper-cut decorated binding was sold at Bonham's, 10 April 2008, lot 34. That manuscript was also commissioned by the Governor of Bosnia, who is described as Sharif Selim Serri Pasha ibn Sharif Yusuf Beg, and must refer to the same person, in the first quarter of the 19th century.