Persian MS 396 (The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester)
The text on folio 1a is actually the very end of the text of Persian MS 395, Chapter 3. It was separated when the original single volume was split and rebound as two.
Uniform with Persian MS 396.
Written in 1 to 3 columns with 21 lines per page. Ruled with a miṣṭarah.
Primarily written in nasta‘liq script in black ink, with subheadings in red, written in nasta‘liq and naskh scripts.
Illumination: Headpieces on folios 1b, 84b, and 184b. Marginal ruling throughout in gold outlined in thin single and double black lines, surrounded by red and blue lines.
- Inscription: on the right flyleaf is a statement of ownership by George William Hamilton: سه ۳ دفتر از کتاب هشت بهشت کرنیل جارج ولیم هملتن صاحب بهادر
- Bookplates: left paste-down, Bibliotheca Lindesiana and Hamilton MSS No. 313.
Resewn on a single flat support put down on the interior of the pasteboards, with twined Islamic-style endbands in red silk and silver threads. Rebound in a hybrid British-Indian style tight-backed in smooth dark red goatskin leather without a flap (type III binding per Déroche), with squares. The spine and perimeters of the boards are dyed brown, and the boards feature gilt onlays with scalloped central mandorlas, detached pendants, and corners surrounded by a boarder of gilt insular dots, with yellow ruling criss-crossing the central decoration and surrounding the inner borders and outer margins. A paper label on the spine bears the title written in nasta‘liq script in black ink. Board interiors are lined with European schrotel-patterned marbled papers. The same tools were used on Persian MS 395 and Persian MS 396.
279 × 167 × 43 mm.
A loose bifolium inserted at front records the table of contents in Persian.
Provenance and Acquisition
Formerly owned 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 of which 352 were selected after his death for the British Museum that are now held in the British Library.
The remainder were purchased in 1868 by Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880).
Purchased by Enriqueta Rylands (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 handlist by Michael Kerney, circa 1890s and his Bibliotheca Lindesiana, Hand-list of Oriental Manuscripts: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, 1898.
Manuscript description by Jake Benson in 2021 with reference to the volume.
Funding of Cataloguing
Iran Heritage Foundation and The John Rylands Research Institute