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Illustrations from the Freer Small Shahnama, Baghdad?, early 14th Century
showing Ilkhanid Mongols


Faridun defeats Zahhak
Chapter 5 - Zahhak
Sothebys

Kay Khusraw And His Mother Ford The Jihun
[Kay Khusrau crosses the Oxus with Farangis and Giv?]
Chapter 12e - Kay Khusrau comes to Iran
Christies

Rustam And The Khaqan Of Chin
[Rustam pulls the Khaqan of Chin from his elephant by lasso]
Chapter 13c - Rustam and the Khaqan-i Chin
Christies

Rustam feasts with Kay Khusrau
Chapter 13e - Bizhan and Manizha
Freer Gallery

The second combat: Giv stuns Guruy Zirih
Chapter 13f - The Twelve Rukhs
Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar

Shapur son of Ardashir enthroned
Chapter 22 - Shapur son of Ardashir
Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar
These miniatures comes from an important early manuscript commonly referred to as the 'Freer Small Shahnama', because the majority of the folios of the now-dispersed manuscript are in the Freer Gallery, Washington D.C. The manuscript dates from around 1300 and is amongst the earliest surviving illustrated copies of the famous epic.

On the basis of comparison of certain features such as the hats and foliage with manuscripts such as the Marzbanname (Chronicles of Marzban), dated 1299 and produced in Baghdad and the 1341 Inju Shahnama, executed at Shiraz, the manuscript is thought to have been produced circa 1300 probably at Baghdad under the patronage of the Il-Khan Ghazan (Abolala Soudavar, Art of the Persian Courts, New York, 1992, p.37). The calligraphy of the manuscript, with the extended letter sins which herald a proto-nasta'liq indicating the lessening of eastern influences and an increase in Arab, suggests that this manuscript succeeds rather than pre-dates the First and Second Small Shahnamas (Barbara Brend and Charles Melville, Epic of the Persian Kings. The Art of Ferdowsi's Shahnama, Cambridge, 2010, nos.21-22, pp. 88-91).

The majority of leaves from this Shahnama were with Hagop Kevorkian in New York in the 1920s. The forty-five folios in the Freer Gallery were acquired from him between 1929 and 1940. Others leaves are in public and private collections, the Binney Collection, the Art and History Trust Collection and the Khalili Collection.
Source: Christies



Other Illustrations of Ilkhanid Mongols and Successors in 14th Century Persia and surrounds

Persian Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
Index of Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers