Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Or 15508 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

Oriental Manuscripts

Two collections of letters


Two collections of letters

1. ff 1v-48v

An unidentified compilation of formal letters (inshā) of various types, comprising 12 bābs devoted to different types of correspondence and elaborate forms of address (alqāb). By Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad, called Shah Muḥammad, and dedicated to (or containing praise of) a certain Muḥammad Fayyāz̤ (3r).

Title supplied.

The text is incomplete at the end.

Language(s): Persian
2. ff 49v-187v
Author: Nath نته

A treatise on formal letter writing (inshā’). The preface explains circumstances behind the composition of the work: see f. 51r-52r. The author, (??) Nath (52r, line 6), immersed himself from an early age in the intricacies of inshā’. He received the patronage he needed for success after his arrival in Shāhjahānābād (Delhi).

Other contents: f. 1v, former library shelfmark in English: ‘No 25’.

Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Beige oriental paper, rather coarse and brittle.
Extent: 187 ff.
Dimensions (leaf): 230 × 167 mm.
Dimensions (written): 170 × 100 mm.


Worm damage in the margins throughout, not affecting the text.


Nasta‘līq with elements of shikastah, often difficult to decipher.


Some additions by the copyist in the margins.


Semi-limp modern grey boards.


Origin: Zū l-Qa‘dah 1210 (May - June 1796) AH ; India

Provenance and Acquisition


Acquired from Sotheby's sale 15 October 1998, part of Lot 579.

Record Sources

Based on unpublished description in M.I. Waley, Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts acquired 2000-2014.


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Funding of Cataloguing



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