Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

King's Pote 135 (King's College Library, King's College Cambridge)

Pote Collection


Summary of Contents: 1 copy of Shāhnāmah.
Language(s): Persian

Colophon details: Date: Undated Scribe: Anonymous.

Note concerning work: Probably compiled in India.


Catalogue of the Persian manuscripts in the British Museum (3 vols.) C. Rieu 1879-1883 p.533 [BL Add. 21103]
Catalogue of Persian manuscripts in the library of the India Office (2 vols.) H. Ethé 1903-37 col.546, no. 860 [BL IO Islamic 2118]
Catalogue of the Persian, Turkish, Hindûstânî, and Pushtû Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library E. Sachau and H. Ethé 1889 col.450, no. 493 [Bodl. Elliot 325]
Persian Literature: a bio-bibliographical survey C. A. Storey 1927–39 V.1 p.130
Mughals in India: a bibliographical survey. Vol. 1. Manuscripts D.N. Marshall 1962 p.147
A catalogue of Persian manuscripts in the library of the University of Cambridge, E. Browne (1896) p.286, no. 196 [Camb. Nn. 1.20]

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Maraqqaʿ (album) format – folios concertina ( leporello ). The central calligraphic panels have been remargined so that their base is on the left side of each page. Margins contain gold drawings - flowers and animals - on paper of various colours (ochres and blue). Central panel: each has 3 verses arranged one under the other in two columns (1 per hemistich). Interlinear gold filling around verses.
Extent: 14 pages.
Dimensions (leaf): 18.5 × 11 cm.
Dimensions (written): 8.7 × 3.5 cm.


The concertina is torn in the middle after f.8.


3 lines per page.


Script: nastaʿlīq. Quality: Beautiful. Scribe: Anonymous.


Final 2 pages: illustrated in the style of Riẓā ʿAbbāsī (Safavid); pen drawings with some colour (blue turban; light brown sleeves) and gold. (Note: these have upright orientation, unlike the calligraphic panels whose bases are to the left.) In notes held in the King's Archive (attached to a letter dated 16.4.1951), Basil Robinson describes these as: "two exquisite drawings of a seated youth and an old man leaning on a stick, in the style of about 1600 associated with the name of Āqā Riẓā".


Initial flyleaf: inspection notes with regnal dates (years 2, 4, 5, 13, and 23) and 4 seals (one dated 1134, which is early in the reign of Muḥammad Shāh). Final flyleaf: notes and seals. P.1: a note says this includes verses from the Shāhnāmah and two illustrations commissioned by ʿAbd Allāh Khān.


Brown leather, Indian style. Leather doublures. Unboxed. Polier's number: 291.


Origin: Undated.

Provenance and Acquisition

The "Pote Collection" arrived in England from India in 1790 and was divided between the Colleges of Eton and King's, Cambridge, with the first half alphabetically going to King's. Both halves of the collection are now housed in Cambridge University Library on permanent loan. Most if not all of the manuscripts had previously been owned by Colonel Antoine-Louis Henri Polier (1741–1795).

Gift of Edward Ephraim Pote (d.1832) in 1788.

Record Sources


All manuscripts of the Pote Collection are on permanent loan at Cambridge University Library. Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card for admissions procedures consult Cambridge University Library. Contact near_eastern@lib.cam.ac.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript

Funding of Cataloguing

King's College Cambridge


Comment on this record

Please fill out your details.

How are we using your feedback? See our privacy policy.

See the Availability section of this record for information on viewing the item in a reading room.