Tadhkirat al-shuara

Accession number: 
MS M.1185
Tadhkirat al-shuara
Shiraz, Iran, 18th century, 1730-1731 (if the 1143 AH is certain)
19th century lacquer covers with a flower and bird motif on the exterior known as gul o bulbul (flower and nightingale), a popular motif in 18th and 19th century Iran. The red doublures have a center medallion and two pendants; the pendants show strange pieces of landscape oriented horizontally, but the central lobed medallion is oriented vertically and depicts a seated foreign woman holding a cup and a bottle. The doublure shows much shading of costume and face and other European conventions that were adopted in Qajar, Iran. Both are later additions to an unillustrated manuscript lacking a cover or with a damaged cover.
249 folios (1 column, 15 lines), : paper, handmade ; 260 x 150 mm.
Many ownership and librarian notices (arzdidahi) on fols 1 and 249v. Purchased by Gladys E. Cook in Teheran, 1961; bequeathed to her nephew Robert G. Calkins, who gave it to the Morgan Library in 2013.

15 lines of text.
Decoration: One illuminated headpiece (unvan) of gold and lapis in late Safavid style with center cartouche bearing name of the text and its author (fol. 1v).
Artist: Daulatshah ibn 'Ala-Aldaulah Bakhtishah.
4 large miniatures, copies, possibly traced, of Shiraz painting of ca. 1575, which featured prominent large floral motifs filling available empty spaces, and possibly covering text: 36v, horseman with turban; 103r, man, turban on ground, sleeps beneath a tree as two men, flanking him, point to him; 157v, army led by man on horseback routs fleeing troops, one man falling from a collapsing horse; 204, Bahrum Gur fells an onager by pinning its ear to its hoof (Fitnah not present).
The text was completed by Daulatshah in 1487 and dedicated to Mir 'Ali Shir, vizier to the court of Sultan Husayn in Heart. Daulatshah's text was often used by later biographers and in the 19th century was published in a German translation by Von Hammer, a literary form that much influenced Western ideas of Persian poetry.. The text was very popular and seven copies are in the India Office Library (see Herman Ethé, Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts in the India Office Library, London, Foreign and Commonweath Office, 1980, pp. 340-342, nos. 656-662).

Variant Title: 

Biographies of the Poets.