Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Eton Pote 397 (Eton College Library, Eton College)

Pote Collection


Summary of Contents: 1 copy of Mufradāt (illuminated specimens of calligraphy).

Note concerning author: In fact the scribe signs as Ahmad al-Husayni, 962 (1555) who might be transcribing calligraphic pieces by his master Mīr ʿAlī and/or the Qur'an. But why the reference to Mīr ʿAlī Tabrīzī on the second page? There is an Ahmad Ibrahimi al-Husayni, Qumi, i.e. Qāḍī Aḥmad who wrote Gulistān-i hunar and Khulaṣat al-tavārīkh but he was only 9 in 962/1555. Is he perhaps scribe of Chester Beatty Per. 216 (Yusuf u Zulayka, 957, Herat?) - see Sultan Ibrahim Mirza's Haft Awrang, p.373. See also Mir Sayyid Ahmad al-Husayni al-Mashhadi in Prefacing the Image, p.34 - who in 972 copied an album preface in the Amir Ghayb Beg album, in Herat (TS H.2161) - translated in Album Prefaces. DR says Mir Sayyid Ahmad (d.986) was a prolific calligrapher, a student of Mīr ʿAlī - "his specimens were avidly collected" - he was one of Qazi Ahmad's teachers. The year 1555 would be around the end of his employ with Shah Tahmasp.

Title: Mufradāt
Language(s): Persian

illuminated specimens of calligraphy

Colophon details: Date: 962 / 1555 Scribe: Aḥmad al-Ḥusaynī احمد الحسينى .

Note concerning manuscript: Central panels: calligraphic panel containing two lines on well-burnishe dark ochre paper, framed by an illuminated border and enclosed in rulings of red, blue, green and gold. That is framed by a gold-speckled border and outside that another illuminated border (containing patterns that are repeated from the inner borders). Appears to have been remargined twice producing three layers: the middle layer containing the inner margin and rulings.


Physical Description

Form: codex
Dimensions (leaf): 21.5 × 16.7 cm.
Dimensions (written): 13 × 8 cm.
Foliation: Foliated.


2 lines per page.

Ruled in gold, geen, blue and red (calligraphic specimens are enclosed in gold frames).


F.1v has illuminated sarlauh on central panel apparently added later.


F.1r seal of Polier (1181). Contains a note inserted in English stating that Mīr is the writer [which can not mean scribe] of these sentences of the Qur'an, adding that the manuscript is "very valuable".

Notes concerning codex: Text states that these are based upon models of nasta'liq from Mir 'Ali Tabrizi (the inventor of the script).


Reddish brown leather, Indian style with a stamped inlayed turanj , pendants and corner pieces with a further band of cartouches around that. Leather doublures with a central turanj and pendants (gilded on dark blue ground). Dimensions: 22.5 × 17.2 × 1.7 cm. Unboxed. Polier's number: 1011.


Origin: 962 AH; 1555 CE

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 second half alphabetically going to Eton. 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

Manuscript description based on D.S. Margoliouth, Catalogue of the Oriental Manuscripts in the Library of Eton College, Oxford, 1904 enhanced with additional descriptions and corrections by Shiva Mihan.


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

Eton College


Comment on this record

Please fill out your details.

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