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Book of Kings (Shahnama)
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Book of Kings (Shahnama)


Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Walters manuscript W.600 is an illuminated and illustrated Safavid copy of the Book of kings (Shahnamah) by Firdawsi (died 411 or 416 AH/AD 1020-1025), dating to the 10th century AH/AD 16th. The text is largely written in black Nasta'liq script with headings in blue on a polychrome ground. The codex opens with an illuminated medallion (fol. 1a), followed by a double-page illuminated frontispiece (fols. 1b-2a), poorly preserved. The preface, ordered by Baysunghur in 829 AH/AD 1425-1426, begins on fol. 2b. The Shahnamah text begins on fol. 14b with an inscribed illuminated titlepiece. It is divided into 2 parts. Eighteen paintings illustrate the text. The black lacquer binding with lobed central ovals and pendants is not contemporary with the manuscript and dates to the 13th century AH/AD 19th.
Exhibitions
  • Mything Persons: Historic Figures in Legends of East and West. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1998.
Provenance Ahmad [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [seal impression with name on fol. 1a]; Unknown owner, 1789 [mode of acquisition unknown] [ownership entry dated 12 Jumadá I 1204 AH/AD 1789 on fol. 1a]; Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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Creator
Period
10th century AH/AD 16th century (Safavid)
Medium
ink and pigments on laid paper covered with black lacquer with gold
(Manuscripts & Rare Books)
Accession Number
W.600
Measurements
Folio H: 12 13/16 x W: 7 1/2 in. (32.5 x 19 cm); Closed H: 13 × W: 8 7/16 × D: 3 3/16 in. (33 × 21.5 × 8.1 cm)
Geography
  • Iran (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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