A King’s Book of Kings. The Shah-Nameh of Shah Tahmasp.

Welch, Stuart Cary.

Book ID: 134

ISBN:      0870990284


4to. 199 pp., illustrated by b/w & colour reproduction of miniature paintings, cloth, title gilt on spine, title gilt in Persian on upper cover, biblio, previous owner’s name inscribed on front endpaper, copy clean & in very good condition, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1976.


First edition issued as part of the 2500th anniversary celebration of the founding of the Persian empire. This particular manuscript of Iran’s central literary work and historical epic is thought to have been commissioned about 1522 by Shah Isma’il, the founder of the Safavid dynasty, as a present to his son, Prince Tahmasp. Court artists continued their work on the 759 folios for almost two decades. No Islamic volume of the time has a more complete set of colourful, carefully executed miniatures, being a virtual art gallery compared to other royal illuminated manuscripts. Fully illustrated in colour and black and white, with explanations of each scene as well as pictorial close-ups, and a lengthy introduction.

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