Folio from a Shahnama (Book of kings) by Firdawsi (died 1020); recto: text:; verso: illustration and text: Bahram Gur finds Jamshid’s treasure

Detached folio from a dispersed copy of the Shahnama (Book of kings) by Firdawsi; text: Persian in black naskh script, titles in gold naskh outlined in black; recto: text, Bahram Gur reaches the miller’s daughter, six columns, 31 lines; verso: illustration and text, Bahram Gur finds Jamshid’s treasure, six columns, 15 lines; one of a group of 16 folios (F1923.5, F1930.78, F1930.79, F1935.23, F1935.24, F1938.3, F1942.2, S1986.100, S1986.101, S1986.102, S1986.103, S1986.104, S1986.105.1, S1986.105.2, S1986.106, S1986.107).

Historical period(s)
Il-Khanid dynasty, Mongol period, ca. 1330
Medium
Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W: 20.8 x 28.8 cm (8 3/16 x 11 5/16 in)
Geography
Iran, Tabriz
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
F1935.24
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Manuscript
Type

Manuscript folio

Keywords
Bahram Gur, donkey, epic, Il-Khanid dynasty (1256 - 1353), Iran, lion, Mongol period (1220 - 1380), naskh script, peacock, ram, Shahnama
Provenance

?- to at least 1930
Jacques Doucet (1853-1929), method of acquisition unknown [1]

1930
Auction, Paris, Galerie George Petit, “Collection Jacques Doucet: Céramique d’Extrême-Orient,” lots 101 and 102 [2]

1930-1934
Charles Vignier (1863-1934), purchased at auction [3]

1934-1935
Held in sequestration by City of Paris [4]

1935-1935
H. Kevorkian, New York, purchased from the estate of Charles Vignier, through sequestrator [5]

From 1935
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Hagop Kevorkian, New York. [6]

Notes:

[1] See Galerie Georges Petit, “ Collection Jacques Doucet: Céramique d’Extrême-Orient: Bronzes, Sculptures, Peintures Chinoises et Japonaises Laques du Japon, Faïences de la Perse de la Transcaspie et de la Mésopotamie Miniatures Persanes” [auction catalog] (Paris: Galerie Georges Petit, November 28, 1930) lots 101 and 102, pl. XXXII. The folio is described as “Page de manuscrit provenant d’un “Shah Nameh”. Le roi Bahram s’arrête devant l’arbre Wakwak que fleurissent des têtes d’hommes et d’animaux.” Jacques Doucet was a couturier and art collector.

[2] See note 1 and note 3.

[3] See April 30, 1935, letter from Madame J. Vignier to J.E. Lodge, wherein she explains that her late husband Charles Vignier (1863-1934), a Swiss-born poet, writer, art collector and dealer of antiquities, was retained by H. Kevorkian to purchase the two Shahnama miniatures at the auction of the Doucet Collection [see note 1]. She claims Kevorkian never paid Charles Vignier. See original letter in object file for F1935.23.

[4] See April 24, and May 2, 1935, letters from Maurice Kastler, Administrateur Judiciaire, Tribunal Civil de la Seine of the City of Paris, to J.E. Lodge, wherein he explains that after the February 5, 1934, death of Charles Vignier, the two miniatures were ordered by a Court to be placed into sequestration, and that he, a judicial administrator of the Seine Civil Court, was the sequestrator. He notes that the cause of this sequestration was due to Kevorkian having paid only a deposit on the purchase of the miniatures, and the remaining purchase price remained to be settled. See original letter in object file for F1935.23.

[5] Hagop Kevorkian (1872-1962) was a dealer and collector of Islamic Art with eponymous galleries in New York and Paris. See July 12, 1935, sworn affidavit of Maurice Kastler, and witnessed by Vice-Consul of the United States of America at Paris, France, stating that he sold to Mr. Kevorkian these two Persian miniatures from the auction of the collection of the late Jacques Doucet on November 28, 1930 auction [see note 1]. The affidavit states that “Mr. Hegop [sic] Kevorkian, having paid the agreed price, is the owner of these two miniatures and can dispose of them freely.” See original affidavit in object file for F1935.23.

[6] The Freer Gallery of Art paid H. Kevorkian in installments, the first on July 29, 1935, and the last on October 8, 1935, and approved on March 27, 1935. See objects’ files for copies of invoices.

Research updated December 1, 2022

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

City of Paris
Jacques Doucet 1853-1929
Charles Vignier 1863-1934
Hagop Kevorkian 1872-1962
Georges Demotte 1877-1923

Description

Detached folio from a dispersed copy of the Shahnama (Book of kings) by Firdawsi; text: Persian in black naskh script, titles in gold naskh outlined in black; recto: text, Bahram Gur reaches the miller's daughter, six columns, 31 lines; verso: illustration and text, Bahram Gur finds Jamshid's treasure, six columns, 15 lines; one of a group of 16 folios (F1923.5, F1930.78, F1930.79, F1935.23, F1935.24, F1938.3, F1942.2, S1986.100, S1986.101, S1986.102, S1986.103, S1986.104, S1986.105.1, S1986.105.2, S1986.106, S1986.107).

Published References
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Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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