Persian MS 370 (The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester)
Folios 1 to 318 foliated in Hindu-Arabic numerals on the upper centres of the a sides in black.
Folios 319 to 330 Foliated in pencilled Arabic numerals on the upper-left corners of the a sides by the cataloguer.
Single-column with 25 lines per page; consistently ruled with a misṭarah hand guide in both the original and restored portions.
Table of Contents:
- Partially written out on folio 1a, then re-written on both the third right flyleaf a and b sides (ff. iiia–iiib).
- The right flyleaf recto (f. ia) bears the title and author's name written in Persian, with the name of prior owner Colonel George William Hamilton, likely in the hand of Muhīn Dās, who assisted former owner Colonel George William Hamilton.
- The third right flyleaf a side (f. iiia) bears a note stating a prior purchase from a ṣaḥḥāf (bookseller-binder) adjacent to the seal impression at top-left, with a price of ten (rupees) written in Indian raqam notation at the top-centre.
- Folio 1a, at top, denotes the title and author with the name of a former owner Navvāb ‘Alī Khān Ṣāḥib written over a later repair. Two earlier, partially obliterated ownership notations written at the bottom bear dates of 3 Jumādà I 1197 AH (30 May 1778 CE) adjacent to an obliterated seal impression, and another possibly dated 22 Muḥarram(?) 1112 AH (9 Jul. 1700 CE). A price of fifteen (rupees?) written in Indian raqam notation inscribed on a later repair at the fore-edge.
- Final right flyleaf b side (f. ivb) ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ bookplate with shelfmark ‘2/H’, and ‘Hamilton MSS No. 287’.
Very likely restored in India. Resewn upon a single flat support put down on the flyleaves. Edges trimmed with the head coloured gray. Finely worked Islamic-style twined chevron endbands of bluish-gray silk and silver threads over cord at head and tail. Elegantly rebound in a hybrid British-Indian style in British-made straight-grained crimson morocco leather over pasteboards, with squares along the edges and defined joints, but without a flap (type III binding as per Déroche). Internal doublures lined with similar British-made straight-grained black morocco leather, with the extended width put down as hinges onto the flyleaves, with strips of marbled paper, zig-zag cut adhered over top to disguise the overlap. An earlier pink-tinted endleaf (f. iii) remains, with later endpapers added, apparently of the same stock used to complete the end of the volume when restored.
Gilt paper onlays applied to the board margins, with a wide band featuring a floral scrollwork design, with strips of similarly-gilt onlays with insular dots applied on either side, double and single ruled in yellow. Board edges tooled with a narrow foliate scroll, with the internal dentelles also tooled with a decorative abstract scroll design, using decorative rolls in gold, executed in the European manner. Octagonal paper label bearing the title of the volume in Persian applied to the spine.
249 × 161 × 55 mm.
Handle with caution. Binding in good condition on the exterior, with light scuffing on the exterior. However, the text block split between folios 326b to 327a although the sewing remains intact, while the right board internal doublure and the first right flyleaf bears significant insect damage, the latter with large losses in the centre.
Two obliterated seal impressions, one oval and the other rectangular appear on folio 1a, while another partially legible, intaglio-carved in nasta‘līq script in three stacked lines impressed upon folios third right flyleaf a side (f. iiia) adjacent to the note stating its purchase from a ṣaḥḥāf (bookseller-binder), dated 1255 AH (1839–40 CE).
17.5 × 10.5 mm.
Provenance and Acquisition
Previously owned by several people in India, including one Navvāb ‘Alī Khān Ṣāḥib
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 British Museum selected 352 after his death, now held in the British Library.
In 1868, Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880) purchased the remainder.
Subsequently purchased by Enriqueta Rylands (1843–1908) in 1901 from James Ludovic Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford (1847–1913).
Bequeathed by Enriqueta Rylands in 1908 to the John Rylands Library.
Manuscript description by Jake Benson in 2021 with reference to the volume in hand.
Manchester Digital Collections (full digital facsimile)