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Identification and Creation
Object Number
Illustrated manuscript of Khusraw and Shirin of Sheyhi
(not assigned)
Creation Place: Middle East, Turkey
Ottoman period
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Owned by "Dervish" in Dhul-Hijja, 1050 (April-March 1641). Owned by al-Sayyid Murtada Efendi known as Surkh-Sar ("Redhead") [note on flyleaf]
Purchased by John Goelet from Sotheby's, through Maggs Bros., London [curatorial file]

Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of John Goelet
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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This is an illustrated manuscript of the Khusraw and Shirin of Sheyhi, composed in Turkish. The small manuscript is copied in vocalized naskh in two columns and fifteen lines to a page. The manuscript is not paginated and a few folios are missing at the beginning. The two endpapers at the beginning and one at the end have been included in the folio numbering. There are six text-block size miniatures:
Miniature 1, 48v: Shirin questions Shavur about the image of Khusraw.
Miniature 2, 92r: Khusraw and Shirin meet each other unexpectedly as they hunt.
Miniature 3, 109r: Khusraw's combat with the lion
Miniature 4, 149v: Farhad visits Shirin after carving a milk channel for her.
Miniature 5, 164v: Farhad and the old woman
Miniature 6, 226r: Khusraw marries Shirin
On the last folio there is a seal impression of the Ottoman prince Alemshah who was Bayezid II's son and died in 1510. This serves as the terminus ante quem for the production of the manuscript. There are other illustrated copies of this text produced during the reign of Bayezid II (1481-1512). Two of the notes on the first flyleaf indicate that the manuscript was in the possession of a dervish in Dhulhijja 1050 (March-April 1641) and Al-Sayyid Murtada Efendi, who was most likely the Ottoman Shaykh al-Islam between 1750-55. The original binding has been replaced with a textile binding and bound in western style. The inscriptions on the spine (Torok Kezirati Codex) indicate that this was done in a Hungarian collection.
Publication History

Aysin Yoltar, "The role of illustrated manuscripts in Ottoman luxury book production: 1413-1520" (PHD diss., Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, 2002), New York University, pp.316-323, 339, 343, 350, 351, pls. 215-221.

Exhibition History

32Q: 2550 Islamic, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/08/2017 - 04/19/2018

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at