Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

MS. Whinfield 12 (Bodleian Library, Oxford University)

Oriental Manuscripts

Whinfield Collection


Summary of Contents: One beautifully decorated copy of Jāmī's Yūsuf va Zulaykhā.

Language(s): Persian

Rubric: بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
Incipit: الهی غنچهٔ امید بکشای کلی از روضهٔ جاوید بنمای
Explicit: زبانرا کوشمالی خاموشی ده که هست از هر چه کوٸی خاموشی به
Final rubric: تمت تمام شد تم تم تم تم تم تم
Language(s): Persian


Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: heavy cream-coloured ragstock decorated with gold and inks of varius colours
Extent: ii flyleaves + 153 folios
Dimensions (leaf): 26.4 × 16.5 cm.


Both covers of the (modern) binding have fallen off. Evidence of several contemporary repairs throughout, with many of the textboxes repasted into their frames with bands of coloured paper for support.


Two columns (read as one) of 13 or 14 lines per page for most folios.


( folios 1a-145b and 148a-149b ) Script: Fine nasta‘līq in black ink with several captions in red and gold ink. Scribe unknown.

( folios 146a-147b and 150a ) Script: Nasta‘līq in black ink. Scribe unknown but in a coarser, later hand than the rest of the manuscript.


Splendidly gilded margin frames with gold outlines coloured in in multiple coloured inks throughout.

Textboxes framed with thick painted borders overlayed with gold designs. Many of these have been covered with fine paper in various colours and designs ir order to secure paste-in textboxes which had come loose. These framed are further framed with thin borders in blue, green, gold, and black.

Edges of the paper are decorated win red with yellow and black lines and mango-shapes.

folio 1a: Gold and brown decorated headpiece with بسم لله الرحمن الرحیم in black ink, the words being apparently added post factum.

folio 57b: Illuminated miniature of Yūsuf being pulled up from the well.

folio 61a: Illuminated miniature of Yūsuf about to board the boat to Egypt.

folio 63b: Illuminated miniature of Yūsuf being sold at the slave market.

folio 97a: Marginal illustration of dragons, gryphons, foxes, and other creatures and vegetation. Also a margin column interspersed with vegetal designs in gold.

folio 97b: Illuminated miniature of Yūsuf cast out by Potiphar as Zulaykhā and the baby bear witness.

folio 103a: Illuminated miniature of Yūsuf seeing Zulaykhā again in the garden after his imprisonment has ended.

Accompanying Material

The manuscript has been rebound with the addition of two ribbons, one blue (still attached) and one yellow (which has come loose).


Origin: likely Abulkhayrid Bukhara ; likely 16th century CE

Provenance and Acquisition

The collections of Sir Edward Henry Whinfield, d. 1922.

The Whinfield manuscripts were bequeathed to the Indian Institute, Oxford, in 1922, and later transferred to the Bodleian Library.

Record Sources


Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures contact Bodleian Admissions). Contact specialcollections.enquiries@bodleian.ox.ac.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript

Funding of Cataloguing



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