Moʿin Moṣavver | Manuscripts | Ḵamsa of Neẓāmi

Manuscript K2, no. 1-04

Sultan Sanjār and the Old Woman

Ḵamsa, Poem 1, Maḵzan al-asvār, Canto 4
Location: Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art
, London, MSS 1220.8.
33.9 x 20.7 cm (after Sotheby's 2006)
Text area: 25 x 14 cm (scaled)
13 x 14 cm (scaled)
Text: four column; 13 lines on a 25 line per full page matrix.
Signature: Not signed

Summary of the narrative cited from the University of Arizona website (full reference below)
. ... to the amazement of an aide, an old woman grasps the hem of the coat of Sultan Sanjar (r. 1117–57) as he is about to go out hunting. She has come to complain of her mistreatment by the sultan's soldiers, but the Seljuq ruler tells her that the complaint is laughable when compared with his many successful conquests. "What good is it to conquer territories," she answers, "if you do not control your soldiers?"

Painting references:
Sotheby's (London) Sale, 3 May 2001, Lot 47, Maḵzan al-asvār no. 1
Sotheby's (London) Sale, 10 October 2006, Lot 34, Maḵzan al-asvār no. 1
Sotheby's (London) Sale, 22 April 2015, Lot 117 no. 2 of 2 (ill.)

Text references: Downloaded 13 Jun 2016.

Photo courtesy of Sothebys, with publication permission of the © Nour Foundation and the Khalili Family Trust

Robert Eng

Last Updated: 31 October 2016 | Originally published: 31 October 2016