Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

IO Islamic 4069 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

Irvine Collection

Goy va chaugan of 'Arifi


1 copy of Ḥāl'nāmah by ʿĀrifī Hiravī

Complete masnavi by the poet 'Arifi, with illumination, 2 illustrations, and fine calligraphy throughout. Damaged.

Colophon (f. 22r) damaged, dated to 979/1571-2, signed by ʿAlī Riz̤āʾ al-Kātib

Annotations (f. 1r): 1) ‘Gui i Chaugan (masnavi) by Zahīr ud-Din Harawi’; 2) valuation note in fine nastaʿlīq: ‘khaṭṭ, avval’

Annotations (f. 22v): 1) ‘matn’ (centre); 2) inspection note: ‘hafdahum-i Z̲ī Qaʿdah-'i sanah 5 ʿarz̤-i dīdah shud ṣ[aḥīḥ]’ (middle, right edge); 3) descriptive note in good nastaʿlīq written obliquely: ‘[g]ūy va [chaw]gān bar kāghaz̲-i khiṭāʾī-yi afshān-i chahārdah saṭrī ba-khaṭṭ-i avval, sarlawḥ-i lājvard va... khūrd va kalān-i alvān munaqqash-i ṭilā bar ḥāshiyah-'i kalā... kunj va turunj-i alvān munaqqash-i ṭilā, jadval-i ṭilā va rang, baʿd-i shish varq bar yak-taṣvīr naqsh-i ʿimārat-i lājvardī [kitabah]-'i masnad-i shahi[nsh]ah-i sabz pūsh, taṣvīr-i dīgar rū ba-rū va surkh pūsh... sitādah ba-dast yak-taṣvīr...’ (top right), ‘marqūm ba-khaṭṭ-i ʿAlī Riz̤āʾ’ (left), ... [erased raqam valuation] (below)

Far too fragile for public access

Language(s): Persian

Copied from an original =-=-=-=-

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Burnished, gold-sprinkled (afshān) khiṭāʾī paper
Extent: 22 ff. (detached & kept in transparent plastic sleeves)
Dimensions (leaf): 155 × 85 mm.

Recto/verso disposition lost; original foliation lost in most cases


Very poor condition

Paper brittle

Large sections at the centre of most folios affected by worm holes, resulting in loss of text

Pigments faded, oxidised, and some flaking


Rubrics in centered cartouches


Fine calligraphic nastaʿlīq


Coloured and gilt ruled borders (jadāval); zar afshān or gold sprinkled over text panels; illuminated rectangular units either side of ʿunāvīn or rubrics; text before paintings arranged in angular designs, with illuminated triangular units above and below

Central shamsah: circular, annular, protruding spokes in blue. Background: faded gold floral scroll (tashʿīr sāzī)

Illuminated sar lawḥ and ʿunvān

Illuminated rectangular units either side of ʿunvān in blue and gold arabesque

King of China seated in a pavilion with an ascetic youth, in a fenced garden enclosure. Painted in a naive version of the Bukhara style. Unsigned.

Illuminated rectangular units either side of ʿunvān in blue and gold arabesque

Mature man offers youthfull polo player a golden ball infront of onlookers. Painted in a naive version of the Bukhara style. Unsigned.

Illuminated rectangular sections above and below colophon, with painted and gilt arabesque

Background: faded gold floral scroll tashʿīr sāzī


Board covered with waxed marbled paper; cloth tape over spine. Gilt lettering on spine reads: Guy u Chaugan.

Kept separately with detached folios in box


Origin: 979 (May 1571 - May 1572) AH ; India or Central Asia (?)

Provenance and Acquisition

William Irvine


William Irvine


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Funding of Cataloguing



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