5 April 2016
PERSIAN MANUSCRIPT – Ferdowsi (940-1020 CE, Hakim Abu ?l-Qasim Ferdowsi Tusi). Shahnemeh [Book of Kings]. Colophon (in Persian): 914 Hijra, .
Small 2° (300 x 185 mm). MANUSCRIPT ON PAPER. 1,146 pages, text in 4 columns of about 21 lines each. Text in blank ink, headings in red. 10 full page-paintings and one half-page frontispiece. 10 full-page color paintings, added later, each heightened in gold. Text framed in gold. Persian black calf with arabesque design on covers, central and corner medallions in grey paint against a lacquered copper background, all outlined in gilt double fillets, red painted doublures.
This manuscript dates from the beginning of the Safavid dynasty (1502-1736). A poem of nearly 60,000 couplets based mainly on an earlier work in prose of the same name, the Shahnemeh was derived from a Pahlavi (Middle Persian) work, the Khvatay Namak, which contains a history of the kings of Persia from mythical times down to the reign of Khosrow II (590-628). The Persian translation contains additional material, continuing the story to the overthrow of the Sassanids by the Arabs in the middle of the 7th century. Several other versifications of the Shahnemeh were completed, but Ferdawsi’s is the best known.
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Please note the correct count of full-page paintings is 10 in total.
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