verso © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2002.50.123
Title
Illuminated title page: opening verses of the Shahnama, folio from a manuscript of the Shanama by Firdawsi
Classification
Manuscripts
Work Type
manuscript folio
Date
1562
Places
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran, Shiraz
Period
Safavid period
Culture
Persian
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/143415
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Ink and gold on paper
Dimensions
37 x 23.5 cm (14 9/16 x 9 1/4 in.)
Provenance
[Christies, London, 17 October 1995, lot no. 79]. [Mansour Gallery, London, before 1998], sold; to Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood, Belmont, MA (by 1998-2002), gift; to Harvard Art Museums, 2002.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art
Accession Year
2002
Object Number
2002.50.123
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
The verso of this folio features a richly illuminated taj, or crown-like element, at the top and a cartouche below it that contains the title of the work, inscribed in white: “Book of the Shahnama.” The text, with the beginning of Firdawsi’s prologue to the epic, is written in black nasta'liq in “cloud” reserves against a gold background filled with tiny flowers.

Published Catalogue Text: In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art , written 2013
75

Illuminated title page: opening verses of the Shāhnāma
recto: text and illuminated panels
verso: illuminated titles and text
Folio: 37 × 23.5 cm (14 9/16 × 9 1/4 in.)
2002.50.123

The verso of this folio features a richly illuminated tāj, or crown-like element, at the top and a cartouche below it that contains the title of the work, inscribed in white: “Book of the Shāhnāma.” The text, with the beginning of Firdawsi’s prologue to the epic, is written in black nastaʿ līq in “cloud” reserves against a gold background filled with tiny flowers. The illumination style on this page echoes that of the introductory folio (cat. 73).

Mika M. Natif

Publication History

Mary McWilliams, ed., In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2013), pp. 76-77, ill.; pp. 83-84, ill.; pp. 166-167, ill.; p. 224, cat. 75, ill.

Exhibition History

In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/31/2013 - 06/01/2013

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu