Persian MS 942 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)
Primarily the Badāyiʻ al-Inshāʼ (Novelties in Composition), with a folio detached from the Kitāb-i Taṣrīf (Book on Morphology).
Single column, with 13 lines per page. Ruled with a miṣtarah hand guide.
Written primarily in shikastah mixed with nasta‘līq script in black with sub-headers in red.
Many folios bear notes in a minuscule shikastah hand(s) in black written between the lines as well as marginalia in black and red.
Marginalia: Many folios bear interlinear notes in a minuscule black shikastah hand, as well as marginalia in black and red.
Folio 1b bears a notation by an unidientified former owner adjacent to an obliterated seal impression.
‘هذا النسخة الشريفة انشاء يوسفي تصنيف مولانا مولوي محمد يوسف.’
- The right board exterior bears a price of ‘50 Rupees’ written in both Persian and English.
Unsupported sewing at two stations, with twined chevron endbands worked in white silk and silver threads, the latter now tarnished gray. Rebound in full, smooth maroon-coloured goatskin leather over pasteboards, without a flap (type III binding per Déroche). Endpapers of cross-grained, tan-coloured European laid handmade paper with ~ 1mm betwen laid lines and ~ 28mm between chain lines, watermarked with a prominent fleur de lis on the right pastedown measuring 68 × 44 mm. , and countermarked on the left pastedown with the date 1800.
Boards decorated with blocked central scalloped central mandorlas, detached pendants, and corners with fine intaglio-carved floral designs, possibly in black ink. Spine later titled ‘YOSUF’ in in the European manner in gold.
211 × 152 × 29 mm.
Binding in good condition. Headcaps repaired in maroon goatskin leather.
1: The added detached folio, now the fourth right flyleaf a side (f. iva) bears an obliterated, partly legible, round seal impression, intaglio carved in four stacked lines in in naskh script, double-ruled, possibly with the name of Jalāl al-Dīn. 13 × 14 mm.
2: Folios 1a and 1b (next to a notation) bear partially-legible rectangular seal impressions, intaglio carved in three stacked lines of nasta‘līq script, double-ruled, and impressed in black ink, with the name of a former owner or associate, possibly surnamed Shihābī, bearing the number 20, but the exact date appears unclear. 12 × 15 mm.
3: Folios 1b and 130b bear obliterated oval seal impressions, probably of a former owner that appear to be intaglio-carved two lines of nasta‘līq script, unruled, and impressed in black ink. 9 × 14 mm.
Provenance and Acquisition
Subsequently owned by at least two other individuals, likely in the Indian subcontinent one possible named Jalāl al-Dīn and the other possibly surnamed Shihābī as per their seal impressions upon folios 1a–1b and 130b.
Evidently acquired in the Indian subcontinent by East India Company administrator Sir Charles William Rouse-Boughton (1747–1821), who served there from 1765 to 1778. Note that he signs his name on the second right flyleaf a side (f. iia) as ‘C. W. B. Rouse’, evidently well before he changed his name in 1791 to 'Boughton Rouse' and to 'Rouse-Boughton' in 1794.
Subsequently acquired by antiquarian bookseller and publisher J. E. Cornish who operated a shop for many years at 33 Picadilly,Manchester.
Purchased by the John Rylands Library from J. E. Cornish in Oct. 1912.
Manuscript description by Jake Benson in 2022 with reference to the manuscript in hand, an unpublished handlist, accession registers, and a Persian description of the volume published by Tawfiq Subhani in 1993, and in consultation with Dr. Mahmood Alam regarding the colophon.
Funding of Cataloguing
The John Rylands Research Institute