Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Or 15598 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

Oriental Manuscripts

Tuhfat al-muluk


1 copy of Tuḥfat al-mulūk

A didactic tract on ethics and government, also known by the title Tuḥfat al-vuzarā, comprising 40 briefsections (bāb), each containing four maxims.

Author unknown.

The present manuscript was copied and illuminated by or for Sayyid Yūsuf Majd al-Udabā, and illustrated by his son, for presentation to the heir apparent Prince (later Shah) Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, 1919-1980This is evident from two inscriptions in illuminated panels at the foot of f. 8v and the head and foot of f. 9r, together with the presence of his portrait on f. 9r. The latter is signed by ‘Sayyid Ḥusayn pisar-i Majd al-Udabā’.

Includes a drawing of Prince Mohammad Reza on f. 9r by Sayyid Ḥusayn, son of Majd al-Udabā, dated 1304 shamsī/1925-6.

Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: European wove paper, cream-coloured, thin to medium, sized and polished.
Extent: 9 ff.
Dimensions (leaf): 214 × 136 mm.


Fine nastaʻlīq.



Minute catchwords. Red section headings. Interlinear gilding throughout: vegetation scrolls; larger scrolls around portrait, 9r. Elegant small gilt and polychrome illuminated heading, f. 1v, and panels with inscriptions, f. 8v and 9r. Text frames: black, gold, black, gold, blue; black, gold, black in borders.



Green leather binding with gilt border lines.


Origin: 1304 (1925 - 1926) AH ; Iran

Provenance and Acquisition


Acquired from Christies sale 11 April 2000, Lot 99

Record Sources

Based on unpublished description in M.I. Waley, Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts acquired 2000-2014.


Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card for admissions procedures contact British Library, Registering for a Reader Pass. Contact apac-enquiries@bl.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript. For information on catalogues and ordering manuscripts see Finding and ordering Persian manuscripts in the British Library.

Funding of Cataloguing



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