FERDOWSI. An Album of Miniatures and Illuminations from the Baysonghori Manuscript of the Shahnameh. Completed in 833 A.H./A.D. 1430, and preserved in the Imperial Library, Tehran. [Tehran, Central Council of the Celebration of the 2500th Anniversary of the Founding of the Persian Empire by Cyrus the Great, 1971].
Large folio. Original blind-stamped blue cloth, spine lettered in yellow, dust-wrappers (this a little bubbled and with minor marginal tears and rubbing); pp. 70, , 34 tipped in colour illustrations; well preserved, and printed on thick high-quality paper.
First facsimile edition, limited to 5000 copies, 'published in commemoration of the Celebration of the 2500th anniversary of the founding of the Persian Empire by Cyrus the Great'. The national epic of Persia, written by the man who single-handedly saved the Persian language from being wiped out by Arabic at the beginning of the 11th century CE. - Text in Farsi, English, French and German. 'The value of the manuscript lies not in its text but in the artistry that went into its production. It was under Bāysonḡor, himself a connoisseur and a capable calligrapher (a sample of whose hand has survived in an inscription over a door and in an archway in Mašhad’s Gowharšād mosque), that the Herat school of painting, the third important school of painting in medieval Iran (after those of Tabrīz and Shiraz), came into being. The Bāysonḡorī manuscript was one of the most important works of this school. The manuscript’s illuminations, full and half-page miniatures, contain accurate depictions of a variety of animals, and, true to the general style of the Herat school, realistic scenes of palaces, their decorations, glazed tile work, and architecture, placed in imaginary landscapes' (Encyclopaedia Iranica, online).
COPAC locates two copies only, in the British Library and at Oxford.