This folio belongs to a famous copy of the Majma` al-tavarikh (Collection of Chronicles), commissioned by Shahrukh in the 1420s in Herat and written by the Hafiz Abru (d. 1430), a historian and courtier who served both Timur and Shahrukh. The history represents one of the most significant methods used by the Timurids to legitimate their rule in Iran. Its text covers the general history of the world from Adam through the reign of Shahrukh and draws from Biblical, Islamic, Iranian, Chinese, and Mongol histories. The format follows the model of the Jami` al-tavarikh (Compendium of Chronicles) written by the Iranian Jewish doctor Rashid al-Din (d. 1318), who served under the Ilkhanids and set a new standard for strategic history writing in Iran.
There may be as many as four extensively illustrated copies of this history, but two are known of for certain: a dispersed manuscript formerly in the collections of Emile Tabbagh and Parish Watson, and a dated copy (829 AH/1425 CE) in the Topkapi Sarayi Library in Istanbul (H.1653); pages of the c. 1425 manuscript, which was widely dispersed, can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Aga Khan Museum Collection, the Sackler Museum of the Harvard University Art Museums and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Two such pages were exhibited in the landmark exhibition of Islamic art of the Timurid period (r. 1370-1506), Timur and the Princely Vision: Persian Art and Culture in the Fifteenth Century in 1989, which took place at LACMA and the Smithsonian Institution's Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, DC.
- L. Akbarnia (7/2/08)
Blue faience scarab, commemorating the marriage of Amenhotep III with Queen Tiy. The inscription on the underside is inlaid with bluish-white glaze. There are additional inscriptions on two sides, under the legs of the beetle – right) name of Queen Tiy; left) throne name of Amenhotep III. Probably sent to dignitaries of Egypt as announcements.
Condition: Good, except for the blowholes in glaze surface, and the wearing away of the bluish white glaze in the hieroglyphs.
Red Pottery vase of "tear drop" shape. Three registers of conventionalized blue floral motifs around upper half of body. Rounded base.
Condition: Poor. Rim badly chipped. One side of vase badly pitted and decorations worn.
Pair of clavi ending in oval finial. Floral design on band and floral design on one finial. Other finial has crude bust of a haloed personage, presumably a saint.
Condition: Poor. Nearly all of the wool is missing. Numerous small gaps. Interesting as showing technique.
Two fragments of tapestry-woven borders each with two brown guilloche bands separated by plain brown band. Guilloche filled with design of birds and floral motifs, brown and white.
Condition: Extremely fragmentary. Numerous gaps. Fabric very dry and brittle.
Three matching fragments of textile (curtain?). Dark red wool tapestry on a yellow tabby ground. On all three pieces, red pendants of vine motif point away from selvage.
Fragment c also has a narrow red stripe parallel to the pendant and a heavy yellow wool cord along one edge.
Condition: Fragmentary. Stained. Torn.
Three textile fragments. Red, black, purple, yellow, green, and blue wools. Undyed linen. Tapestry weave. Decoration from a tunic. Common design of a red background and purple L-shaped motif on black borders.
Fragment a: Square contains central floral designs and similar motifs in corners.
Fragment b: Medallion contains bust in center.
Fragment c: Clavus (band) contains medallion and abstract ornament.
Condition: Much damage. All three pieces are incomplete. Design details are indecipherable.
Three fragments of textile. Purple wool tapestry. Undyed linen tabby. Clavi (bands) from tunic decoration, fragment a and fragment b have a purple background with linen interlace design; fragment c has a linen tabby background with a purple stylized vine design.
Condition: Worn, threadbare. Fragmentary. Fragment b is faded.