View full screen - View 1 of Lot 31. AN ILLUMINATED TEXT LEAF FROM A ROYAL COPY OF FIRDAUSI'S SHAHNAMEH, CONTAINING SECTIONS ON KAY KAVUS WRITING A LETTER TO THE KING OF MAZANDARAN AND KAVUS GOING TO MAZANDARAN, INDIA, MUGHAL, CIRCA 1610.
31

AN ILLUMINATED TEXT LEAF FROM A ROYAL COPY OF FIRDAUSI'S SHAHNAMEH, CONTAINING SECTIONS ON KAY KAVUS WRITING A LETTER TO THE KING OF MAZANDARAN AND KAVUS GOING TO MAZANDARAN, INDIA, MUGHAL, CIRCA 1610

Estimate:

15,000

to
- 25,000 GBP

AN ILLUMINATED TEXT LEAF FROM A ROYAL COPY OF FIRDAUSI'S SHAHNAMEH, CONTAINING SECTIONS ON KAY KAVUS WRITING A LETTER TO THE KING OF MAZANDARAN AND KAVUS GOING TO MAZANDARAN, INDIA, MUGHAL, CIRCA 1610

AN ILLUMINATED TEXT LEAF FROM A ROYAL COPY OF FIRDAUSI'S SHAHNAMEH, CONTAINING SECTIONS ON KAY KAVUS WRITING A LETTER TO THE KING OF MAZANDARAN AND KAVUS GOING TO MAZANDARAN, INDIA, MUGHAL, CIRCA 1610

Estimate:

15,000

to
- 25,000 GBP

AN ILLUMINATED TEXT LEAF FROM A ROYAL COPY OF FIRDAUSI'S SHAHNAMEH, CONTAINING SECTIONS ON KAY KAVUS WRITING A LETTER TO THE KING OF MAZANDARAN AND KAVUS GOING TO MAZANDARAN, INDIA, MUGHAL, CIRCA 1610


ink and gold on paper, text area with 35 lines of text written in four columns of black nasta`liq script on cream paper, double intercolumnar rules in gold, original textual additions written diagonally and vertically in inner margins, heading in gold on blue ground on recto naming "the Story of Ka'us in Mazanderan", outer borders of blue paper painted in gold with animals and birds amidst rocks and foliage, page number number in black in in upper border of recto '141' and in red '75' and on verso in black '142'


text area: 21.2 by 10.9cm.

leaf: 34.7 by 23.2cm.

In overall good condition, with minor holes, some minor tears and fraying to the margins, the inside margin restored, minor losses to the gold, minor smudges, as viewed.


"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

Ex-collection Kalebdjian Brothers, 12 Rue de la Paix, Paris, first half 20th century.

This illuminated leaf comes from an interesting manuscript of circa 1610 that must have been prepared for Jahangir, as the artists responsible for the few known illustrated leaves include Balchand, Bishandas, Inayat, Govardhan, Payag, Dhanraj and Aqa Reza, all members of the royal atelier, while the opening double page of illumination has been attributed to Mansur (see Sotheby's London, 25 April 2012, lot 484). Jahangir’s patronage is further indicated by the close similarities between the border designs of this manuscript and those of the well-known copy of the Farhang-i Jahangiri prepared for Jahangir circa 1608.


The manuscript appears to have included the text of both the Shahnameh and the Garshaspnameh since the majority of pages illustrate episodes or include text from the Shahnameh and the opening illuminated pages sold in these rooms on 25 April 2012, lot 484 were undoubtedly from the Shahnameh, being the opening of the preface to the Baysunghuri edition; but several others illustrate episodes specific to the Garshaspnameh of Hakim Abu Ali ibn Ahmad Tusi (e.g. 'Nariman lassoes the Khaqan of Chin', Sotheby's New York, 16 March 2016, lot 858; 'Nariman kills the son of the Khaqan of Chin', Sotheby's London, 28 April 2004, lot 57). The inclusion of both texts in one volume was not unheard of - another early Mughal copy that includes the Shahnameh, the Garshaspnameh and the Barzunameh is in the British Library, Or. 4906, see N. Titley, Miniatures from Persian Manuscripts, London, 1977, p.52, no.121). The dimensions of all the published pages from the present manuscript are almost identical.


Many folios have different borders on each side, some of which are of marbled paper, but the present folio has blue borders on both recto and verso, which are painted in gold with animals and birds amidst foliage in a style and format typical of Persian-influenced early Mughal manuscripts, and very close in style and quality to the aforementioned Farhang-i Jahangiri. Among the types of birds on the borders of the verso which are somewhat unusual. One appears to be based on an ostrich, but has webbed feet, while the other appears to be a type of pelican, but with a rather short beak and stubby wings.

For more information on other leaves from this manuscript, please see the online version of the catalogue.