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Ilkhanid Illustration
Great Mongol (Demotte) Shahnama
Chapter 9: Zav son of Tahmasp (5 years). Zav enthroned
Tabriz, Persia, c.1340-1350AD

A larger image of Zav, son of Tahmasp, enthroned. Great Mongol (Demotte) Shahnama. Tabriz, Persia, c.1340-1350. Ilkhanid Illustration. Sackler Gallery S1986.107.

Folio from a Shahnama (Book of kings) by Firdawsi (d.1020); verso: Enthronement of Shah Zav; recto: unrelated text [see Iranica Online for explanation]
Type: Detached manuscript folio
Historical period: Il-Khanid dynasty, ca. 1330-1340
Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Dimensions: H x W: 59.1 x 40 cm (23 1/4 x 15 3/4 in)
Geography: Iran, Tabriz
Accession Number: S1986.107
To 1913: Georges Demotte (1877-1923), Paris, France. [1]
From 1913 to 1942: Henri Vever (1854-1942), Paris and Noyers, France, purchased from Georges Demotte, Paris, France on December 12, 1913. [2]
From 1942 to 1986: Family member, Paris and Boulogne, France, by inheritance from Henri Vever, Paris and Noyers, France. [3]
From 1986: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, purchased from a family member, Paris and Boulogne, France. [4]
[1] See Glen D. Lowry and Susan Nemazee, "Appendix 2: Ledger of Acquisitions, 1894 and 1907-17" in A Jewelerís Eye: Islamic Arts of the Book from the Vever Collection (Washington, D.C.: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1988), p. 235. See also Susan Nemazee, "Appendix 7: Chart of Recent Provenance" in An Annotated and Illustrated Checklist of the Vever Collection, Glenn D. Lowry et al (Washington, D.C.: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1988), p. 402.
[2] See note 1.
[3] See the Agreement for the Purchase and Sale of the Henri Vever Collection of January 9, 1986, Collections Management Office.
[4] See note 3.
Former owners
    Francois Mautin (French, born 1907)
    Georges Demotte (1877 - 1923)
    Henri Vever (1854 - 1942)
Detached folio from a dispersed copy of Shahnama (Book of kings) by Firdawsi; text: Persian in black naskh script, heading in gold naskh outlined in black; recto: unrelated text, six columns, 31 lines; verso: illustration and text, The enthronement of Shah Zav, six columns, 12 lines; one of a group of 16 folios.
Border: The recto and verso are set in gold, black and blue rulings on cream-colored paper.
Source: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

39     Fig. 37, frontis.
Shah Zav Enthroned
Image: 25.1 x 29.2cm (9⅞ x 11½ in.)
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Purchase, Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds, Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program, and Dr. Arthur M. Sackler

The tyrannical king Naudar, son of Manuchihr, ruled Iran oppressively for several years and was eventually beheaded in a campaign against the rival Turanians. Neither of Naudarís two sons was considered fit to rule, and the throne remained vacant until Zav, a descendant of Faridun, one of the great rulers of Iran, was crowned on Zalís advice. Zav was already an old man at the time of his coronation. He ruled for only five years, but his reign was marked with a prosperity and justice that ended upon his death.
    The Shahnama includes a short section on Zav that speaks mainly of the prosperity he brought about. This painting shows his enthronement, when everyone, including Zal (the white-haired figure in the left foreground), came to shower him with praises and offerings.1 He is seen here seated on his throne with Zal at his side and surrounded by courtiers, one of them on his knees presenting a gift. The chapter heading incorporated into the painting refers to Zavís brief, five-year reign. Enthronement scenes are featured in thirteen of the fifty-seven extant paintings from the Great Mongol Shahnama (see also cat. Nos. 46, 60). They largely follow a standard composition in which the central crowned figure is seated on an elaborate throne before an architectural setting and is surrounded by courtiers, and officials.

1.Grabar and Blair 1980, pp. 84-85, no. 14; Lowry 1988, pp. 82-83, no. 10.
Source: p.254, The Legacy of Genghis Khan Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia 1256-1353

Washington DC, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Title of Work: Shahnama (Great Mongol)
Manuscript: S1986.100-107
Accession Number: S86.0107
Chapter 9 - Zav son of Tahmasp (5 years)
Scene: Zav, son of Tahmasp, enthroned
Dimensions (h x w): 288 x 293 mm
Format: Stepped within borders
Reconstructed Folio: 026r
Gregorian Date: 1335 (circa)
School: Tabriz
Source: Shahnama Project

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Next: f. 026v: 'Garshasp enthroned '. Great Mongol (Demotte) Shahnama. Tabriz, Persia. Ilkhanid Illustration. Musťe d'Art et d'Histoire, Geneva, 971-0107-0001.
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