Moʿin Moṣavver | Manuscripts | History of Shah Esmāʿil | tāriḵ-e jahāngushā'i-ye ḵāqān-e ṣāḥibibqirān

Manuscript N, jkjk_257

Safavids Led by Ḥoseyn Beg Lāla Battle with the Forces of Sāru Qaplān Ẕuʾl-Qadar

Location: current whereabouts unknown
Mount: Orange mount with gold decoration 26.1 x 23.5 cm. Blue collar. (Mount color uncertain; mount may also have been trimmed)
Written surface: 23.2 x 15.0 cm.
Painting: 17.6 x 15.0 cm.
Text references: J.K., p.257 line 12 to p.258 line 1.
See Savory, SA_1979, p. 51 for this event in the History of Shah ʿĀbbās.

Date of this alleged event: 913/1507-08
Accordintg to Eskandar Monši quoting Ḥasan Beg, the author of the Ahsan al-Tavāriḵ, this event took place (as described in this text), but Monši also questions whether it ever took place, in that it is not recorded in other histories. The event may indeed be fiction.

The location is the vacinity of Diār Bakr, and the event is part of Esmāʿil's campaign against ʿAlā al-Dowla Ẕuʾl-Qadar. When Esmāʿil reached Albestān, ʿAlā al-Dowla fled to Mount Dornā, a high and inaccessible location. Esmāʿil dispatched Ḥoseyn Beg Lāla with a detachment of troops to find a location to ford the river that had to be crossed. They crossed the river and pitched camp, when suddenly Sāru Qaplān, one of the sons of ʿAlā al-Dowla, descended upon them with a large force. A pitched battle ensued, and Ḥoseyn Beg Lāla was nearly killed and fell off his horse, only to be rescued by a retainer, Ḵalil Āqā, who carried him off to safety on his own horse.

This illustration portrays that battle -- a solid mass of Safavids, Ẕuʾl-Qadars, horses, camels, swords, lances,
shields and bows -- that covers most of the paintings surface. In the upper right are the Safavid commanders -- the dominant one dressed in red and observing the hostilities on an armor covered horse, has been identified by a small inscription as Šāh Esmāʿil. This would be in varyance with the text in that Esmāʿil was not present at the battle. Severed heads clutter the bottom foreground. Sāru Qaplān would appear to be the bearded figure in blue, with a black helmut in the upper left, observing the battle. Ḥoseyn Beg Lāla can be seen mounted on a black horse with Ḵalil Āqā at the bottom center of the painting.. Two lines of text above and two lines below the painting. An inscription in red near the top center of the painting identifies the event. The painting is not signed or dated.

Painting references:
Christies London, 6 October 2009, Lot 122

Photo courtesy of Christie's. ©Christie's Images Ltd. 2012

Robert Eng
Last Updated: June 27, 2012 | Originally published:
June 27, 2012