Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Or 16860 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

Oriental Manuscripts

Nigaristan of Ibn Kamal Pasha


1 copy of Nigāristān by Shams al-Dīn Aḥmad ibn Sulaymān ibn Kamāl Pāshā, 1468 or 1469-1534

An elegant literary prose text, composed in emulation of Sa‘dī’s Gulistān. By the renowned Ottoman polymath Ibn Kamāl Pāshā, also known in Turkish as Kemālpaşāzāde (d. 1534). See TDVİA (Türk Diyanet Vakfı İslâm Ansiklopedisi)

The present manuscript appears to be the oldest known recorded copy of this surprisingly rare text. Munzavī, FNKhF V, p. 3645 lists only seven manuscripts; of the four earliest, two are dated 973/1565-6 and two 982/1574-5.

Begins: Basmala Minnathā-yi bī-muntahā Khudā-yi bī-hamtāyī-rā ‘azz va jall ki na dar tashyīd-i binā-yi ḥikamash ‘ajal ast * na dar tanfīz̲-i qażā-yi ḥukmash vajal

Dated 15 Muḥarram 958/23 January 1551. Copied by Sulaymān ibn ʿĪsá.

Clear but undistinguished nasta‘līq. 17 lines. Rubrics, text dividers and text frames in red. Good gold and polychrome illuminated headpiece, 1v. 205 folios, plus 3 blank. 108 x 91 mm. Brown morocco binding with stamped central medallions; flap and hinge detached.

Purchased from Christie’s South Kensington (23 April 2012, Lot 59).

Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 205 ff. (+3)
Dimensions (leaf): 108 × 91 mm.
Dimensions (written):



Origin: 15 Muḥarram 958 AH; 23 January 1551 CE Ottoman Empire ; Anatolia

Record Sources

Based on unpublished description in M.I. Waley, Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts acquired 2000-2014.


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