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Great Mongol (Demotte) Shāh-Nāmeh
Chapter 27 - Narsi son of Bahram
Tabriz, Persia, c.1335AD
A larger image of Narsi enthroned, Great Mongol (Demotte) Shāh-Nāmeh, Tabriz, c.1335 - Ilkhanid Soldiers. The Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, Per 111.6.
Per 111.6 has been repainted in a Qajar style.
Source: Part 1: The pages of the Great Mongol Shahnama, a 19th century restoration in Iran" by Hoa Perriguey (3 August, 2020)
The reign of Bahram Bahramiyan, from the Book of Kings (Shahnama) by Firdausi
Object no: Per 111.6
Title: The reign of Bahram Bahramiyan, from the Book of Kings (Shahnama) by Firdausi
Artist and production place: Unknown, Tabriz
Calligrapher and production place: Unknown, Tabriz
Production date: c. 1330
Dimensions: 592 mm x 400 mm (height x width)
Material: Paper, Pigment, Ink & Gold
Script type: Naskh script, Thuluth script
Collection: Persian collection
Object category: Manuscript
Object name: Folio / Bi-Folio (Codex)
Description: The reign of Bahram Bahramiyan, folio from the Book of Kings (Shahnama).
Dateable to the era of late Mongol Ilkhanid rule in Iran (the 1330s), a dramatic but fragmentary manuscript known as the Great Mongol Shahnama
(and also as the Demotte Shahnama) is today dispersed across many international collections, including eleven folios in the Chester Beatty collection.
Heavily worn, the manuscript was extensively restored in late nineteenth-century Tehran, probably at the Gulistan Palace library:
the folios were trimmed, remargined, and renumbered, with missing text supplemented on new paper folios, written out by Tehran calligraphers following fourteenth-century style.
Many of the paintings were retouched (such as this painting Per 111.6), with occasional Persian commentary written onto them.
At the start of the twentieth century, the manuscript was sold to a Paris-based dealer, Georges Demotte (d. 1923),
reportedly with another dealer Dikran Kelekian as his buying-partner.
From 1913, Demotte began selling single illustrated folios cut from the manuscript to art collectors and museums, in Europe and the USA.
He had not only disbound the manuscript for its paintings, in eight cases he had folios split vertically - thus splicing apart the page -
in order to separate two paintings from either side of one folio.
He then pasted each painting onto separate folios, containing text only (usually irrelevant to the painting subject.
By the time Beatty bought his eleven folios (CBL Per 111.1 to Per 111.11, seven with paintings) from Demotte's firm in October 1937,
he would have known the so-called "Demotte Shahnama" well: its fifty-eight (known) illustrated folios had been widely exhibited and published.
Folio, ink, colours and gold on paper, Persian text in naskh script, with framed caption (the reign of Bahram was three years, three months and three days, on recto),
and two further captions (the reign of Bahram son of Bahram was nineteen years; the reign of Bahram Bahramiyan was four months long) and painting (on verso),
from a dispersed Book of Kings (Shahnama) by Firdausi, Tabriz, Iran, c. 1330, folio remargined and repaired, Tehran, Iran, c. 1880-1900.
Source: The Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, Per 111.6
Dublin, The Chester Beatty Library
Title of Work: Shahnama (Great Mongol)
Manuscript: Per 111
Accession Number: Per 111.6
Chapter 27 - Narsi son of Bahram
Scene: Narsi enthroned
Dimensions (h x w): 180 x 290 mm
Format: Rectangular within borders
Reconstructed Folio: 190v
Gregorian Date: 1335 (circa)
Source: Shahnama Project
Previous: f. 184v: 'Ardashir's minister stands before him', Great Mongol (Demotte) Shāh-Nāmeh, Tabriz, c.1335 - Ilkhanid Soldiers. Keir Collection, X01.
Next: f. 195v: 'Shapur executes Mani'. Great Mongol (Demotte) Shahnama. Tabriz, Persia. Ilkhanid Illustration. Reza Abbasi Collection, Tehran.
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