'Ali Ashraf was famed for his gul-o bulbul designs and was the best artist of his generation. It is his bindings that enclose both the Windsor Castle Shahnameh and the St. Petersburg muraqqa. His figural depictions are very rare, particularly full-length examples, as here. For a discussion of this artist, together with a wide selection of his works, please see Khalili, Nasser D., Robinson, B.W. and Stanley, Tim: Lacquer of the Islamic Lands, part 1, London 1996, pp.72-97, esp. pp.72-74). Despite the breadth of the selection there, no figural examples are to be found in that collection.