Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Or 15959 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

Oriental Manuscripts

Kulliyat-i Sa‘di


1 copy of Kullīyāt-i Saʻdī by Saʻdī

Collected works of Sa‘dī of Shiraz, without the Khabīs̲āt (indecent verse). For a summary account of the author, see R. Davis, ‘Sa‘dī, Abī ‘Abd Allāh Musharrif al-Dīn ibn Muṣliḥ’, in EI2 VIII, p. 719-23 (where the Khabīs̲āt are not mentioned in the categorization of Sa‘dī’s ghazals).

This elegant calligraphic and illuminated copy is the work of one of the great Qajar court calligraphers,‘Abd al-Ḥusayn Iṣfahānī.

The contents are arranged as follows: 1v, Dībāchah (preface) of the Gulistān; 20v, Gulistān; 61v, Būstān; 123v, Qaṣā’id-i ‘Arabī; 129r, Qaṣā’id-i Fārsī; 146v, Marās̲ī; 149v, Mulamma‘āt; 156v, Tarjī‘āt; 161v, Ṭayyibāt; 223v, Ghazalīyāt-i Badāyi‘; 251v, Khavātim; 261v, Ghazalīyāt-i qadīm; 266v, Ṣāḥibīyah; 281v, Muṭāyabāt va Muz̤ḥikāt; 291r, Rubā‘īyāt; 297r, Mufradāt.

Colophons on folios 123r, 128v, and 291r are dated 1255/1829, those on 291r and 299r being dated Ramaān 1255/November-December 1829.

While 184 manuscripts of Sa‘dī’s Kulliyyāt are listed in Munzavī, FNKhF III, p. 1861-70, the number of extant copies is probably much greater since there must be many in private hands. Other copies in the BL: Add. 5601, Add. 7741, Add. 7742, Add. 7743, Add. 16764, Add. 17961, Add. 24944, Or. 2194, Or. 2948, Or. 2743, Or. 4779, Or. 8680, Or. 8753, Or. 9567, Or. 9870, Or. 10908, Or. 11348, Or. 13949, Or. 14158.

Language(s): Persian and Arabic
Author: Saʻdī سعدى

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 299 ff.
Dimensions (leaf): 243 × 151 mm.
Dimensions (written): 178 × 94 mm.


18 lines in main text panel; 34 written diagonally in outer panel.


Shikasta-nasta‘līq . Calligrapher ‘Abd al-Ḥusayn Iṣfahānī


Fine illuminated headings, with ornate margin illumination on facing pages, on f. 1v, 20v, 61v, 161v, 223v; smaller illuminated headings on f. 123v, 129r, 146v (outer panel), 149v (outer panel), 156v, 251v, 261v, 266v, 281v, 291r, 297r, etc.



Lacquered painted binding of good quality: floral sprays on a sparkled brown ground, with smaller sprays reserved in panels in the borders; doublures with floral sprays in panels and simple scrolls with flowers on a sparkled orange-brown ground.

Seal impression Yā Raḥīm, dated 1255/1829


Origin: 1255 AH; 1829 CE ; Iran.

Provenance and Acquisition

Printed library plate of Kitābkhānah-i Fīrūz, with spaces for details blank on back endpaper.


Acquired from Christies sale, lot 443; 2 May 2003

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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