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PERSIAN ILLUSTRATED LITHOGRAPHED BOOKS: چحل طوطى [Chehel Tuti / Forty Parrots]



A rare Persian illustrated lithographed book with a popular story Forty Parrots.

Large 8°, 54 pp. lithographed text with illustrations, original card paper boards, made of papier mâché and covered with white paper (visible lettering from “Tehran Station” on other side of the paper on the wrappers), contemporary cloth spine, bookseller’s stamp in the margin of the first text page (binding slightly rubbed and scuffed with tiny loss of the material, but overall in a good condition).


1 in stock


The story developed in Persia in the early 19th century from more popular Tutiname (also Tutuname), a narrative about a wife, who is left home alone with a parrot. The parrot entertains the wife with various stories and keeps her from meeting her lover until the husband returns. The story was so popular, that the title words Chehel Tuti became an expression for a never-ending tale.

We could not find any other examples of the book nor any records of this version in the literature available to us. Ulrich Marzolph (in : Narrative Illustration in Persian Lithographed Books, 2001) does not list this book. Muhammad Mahdi Golpayegani is mentioned as a scribe of two other books, Boshaq-e at’eme and Chahar fasl-e Meikade, published in 1888 and 1889 (p. 280).

References: Cf.: Ulrich Marzolph, Die vierzig Papageien. Das persische Volksbuch Chehel Tuti. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Papageienbuches. Walldorf 1979. Ulrich Marzolph – Richard van Leeuwen, The Arabian Nights Encyclopedia, 2004, pp. 729-730.

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