Persian MS 388 (The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester)
Foliation marked at top-right corners of the a sides in Hindu-Arabic numerals in black ink, with corrections, that apprently continue from a prior volume, now lost.
Written in 1 column, with 24 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.
Written primarily in a clear nasta‘līq hand in black, with subheaders in red, but in several different hands.
Table of Contents:
- Written upon the second to fourth right flyleaves (ff. iia–ivb), probably in the hand of Muhīn Dās, who assisted former owner Colonel George William Hamilton.
- Inspection notices on folio 1a, one obliterated at top, and another dated 10 Rabī‘ al-Avvāl 1262 AH (9 Mar. 1846 CE) at bottom:
‘ بتاریخ دهم ربیع الاول سنه ۱۲۶۲ هجری بکتابخانه رسید ’
- Underneath the obliterated inscription at top of folio 1a, an brief, undated note by one Muḥammad Sa‘īd states that he offered or gifted it:
‘ بابت محمد سعید ’
- Another brief note on folio 1a by one Kūhaṭ Kalān:
‘ آمدنی کوهٹ کلان ’
Uniformly rebound in a hybrid British-Indian style in India, together with the other volumes in full red goatskin leather over pasteboards, without a flap (type III binding per Déroche), as a set for former owner Colonel George William Hamilton.
322 × 188 × 67 mm.
Handle with caution. In fair condition. Due to due to cross-grained papers and stiff spine linings, the text block opens tightly to the gutter, with the exterior binding abraded.
Three library seals of the kings of Awadh (Oude), intaglio-carved in nasta‘līq script in two stacked lines and impressed in vermillion ink on folio 1a, with another small seal impressed at top-right on folio 1b.
- 1: Rectangular seal impression ofthe library of Nāṣir al-Dīn Ḥaydar Shāh (1803–1837), King of Awadh (r. 1827–1837) dated 1244 AH (1828–29 CE), inscribed with his title Sulaymān Jāh:
‘ خوش است مهر کتبخانه سلیمان جاه * بهر کتاب مزین چو نقش بسم الله، ١٢۴۴’
‘Khvush ast muhur-i kitābkhānah-'i Sulaymān Jāh bahr-i kitāb; muzayyin chaw naqsh-i basmallah, 1244 ’ (‘The seal of the library of Sulaymān Jāh is good; it embellishes the book like the design of a basmallah, 1244 AH [1828–29 CE]’).
17 × 37 mm.
- 2: Rectangular seal impression surmounted by the royal emblem of Awadh, of Amjad ‘Alī Shāh (1801–1847), King of Awadh (r. 1842–1847) dated 1260 AH (1844–45 CE):
‘ ناسخ هر مهر شد چون شد مزین بر کتاب * خاتم امجد علی شاه زمان عالیجناب، ١٢٦٠ ’
‘Nāsukh har muhur shud chun shud muzayyin bar kitāb; khātim-i Amjad ‘Alī Shāh zamān-i ‘Ālījanāb, 1260’ (‘Every [prior] seal became cancelled since the book became embellished by the seal of Amjad ‘Alī Shāh in the era of his Sublime Majesty, 1260 AH [1844–45 CE]’).
53 × 45 mm.
- 3: Rectangular seal impression surmounted by the royal emblem Awadh, of Wājid ‘Alī Shāh (1822–1887), King of Awadh (r. 1847–1856) dated 1262 AH (1846–47 CE):
‘ خاتم واجد علی سلطان عالم بر کتاب * ثابت و پر نور بادا تا فروغ آفتاب، ١٢۶۲ ’
‘Khātim-i Wājid ‘Alī, Sulṭān-i ‘Ālam bar kitāb, s̄abit va pur nūr bādā tā farūgh-i āftāb, 1262’ (‘The seal of Wājid ‘Alī, Sulṭān of the World, upon the book shall be permanent and as bright as sunlight, 1262 AH [1847 CE]’).
41 × 26 mm.
- 4: Folios 1b bear an square seal impression, partly damaged at tope, intaglio carved in nasta‘līq script, stacked in three lines, double-ruled, of probable former owner or associate Nāṣir [al-]Dīn Ḥaqq Ḥusayn ‘Alī with a partial date of ‘118[?]’, hence between from 1180–89 AH (1766–76 CE).
15 × 15 mm.
Provenance and Acquisition
Previously owned or inspected by an unidentified person named Nāṣir [al-]Dīn Ḥaqq Ḥusayn ‘Alī, as per his seal impression on folio 1b dated from 1180–9 AH (1766–76 CE). Brief, undated notations on folio 1a states that Muḥammad Sa‘īd presented or offered it, possibly to Nāṣir al-Dīn Ḥaydar Shāh (1803–1837, r. 1827–1837), with another note by one Kūhaṭ Kalān, perhaps pertaining to its acquisition by the royal library of Awadh.
Subsequently held in the royal library of Awadh in Lucknow, as indicated by dated library notations on folio 1a, and seal impressions of the Kings of Awadh Nāṣir al-Dīn Ḥaydar Shāh (1803–1837, r. 1827–1837), Amjad ‘Alī Shāh (1801–1847, r. 1842–1847), and Wājid ‘Alī Shāh (1822–1887), King of Awadh (r. 1847–1856). Very likely looted during India's First War of Independence, when British soldiers presumably ransacked the royal palace and library on 15 March 1858.
Subsequently acquired by Colonel George William Hamilton (1807-1868) who served in India from 1823 to 1867, latterly as Commissioner in Delhi. He acquired over a thousand Indian and Persian manuscripts from which the British Museum selected 352 after his death, now held in the British Library.
Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880), purchased the remainder in 1868.
Purchased by Enriqueta Rylands (1843–1908) (1843–1908) in 1901 from James Ludovic Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford (1847–1913).
Bequeathed by Enriqueta Rylands (1843–1908) in 1908 to the John Rylands Library.
Bibliographical description based on an index created by Reza Navabpour circa 1993, derived from a manuscript catalogue by Michael Kerney, circa 1890s, concisely published as Bibliotheca Lindesiana, Hand-list of Oriental Manuscripts: Arabic, Persian, Turkish in 1898.
Manuscript description by Jake Benson in 2021 with reference to the volume in hand, and in consultation with Prof Mahmood Alam, English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, regarding the colophon and scribe.
Funding of Cataloguing
Iran Heritage Foundation and The John Rylands Research Institute