Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 948 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: This unidentified collection of various Persian romances probably dates to the 19th c. It commences with an anonymous variant of a popular story about the daughter of the Emperor of Rūm, who after her father's death, posits her potential suitors with a hundred questions. The volume then concludes with Gul-i Bakāvalī (Rose of Bakāvalī) a Dakkani romance featuring Prince Tāj al-Mulūk and Bakāvalī, translated into Persian by ‘Izzat Allāh Bangālī in 1134 AH (1722 CE). Currently covered by exposed cartonage boards, probably unrelated, Qajar-era lacquered book covers also accompany the volume.
Language(s): Persian

Earlier Dakkani versions of the story featured in Gul-i Bakāvalī survive dated in 1035 AH (1625 CE) and 1151 AH (1738 CE) respectively. Nihāl Chand Lahūrī subsequently translated that version into Hindustani (eds. Calcutta 1815, 1827), and Daya Shankar Nasim also composed a Hindustani mas̱navī redaction Gulzār-i Nasīm in 1254 AH (1838 CE). Garcin de Tassy summarized the former in French by in Journale Asiatique, 1836.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 183 folios, 6 flyleaves (ff. iii + 181 + iii)


Written in 1 column with 15 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


Written in clear black nasta‘līq with shikastah ligatures and red markings.

Accompanying Material

A pair of possibly Qajar-era detached lacquer boards accompany the volume. Two cards note the date of purchase from Mrs. Braithwaite and a brief description of the contents.



Provenance and Acquisition

While the circumstances under which this volume arrived in Britain remain unclear, someone possibly named J. O. Freeman(?) gave it to Mary Braithwaite Baker (1853–1932), daughter of Quaker minister Joseph Brevan Braithwaite (1818–1905) on 7 Sept. 1896, who then gave it to her brother William Charles Braithwaite (1862–1922) in 1902, as per inscription on the right pastedown. An inscription by Rev. Henry George Grey (1851–1925) signed ‘Quetta, 1904’ appears to reflect his examination of the volume, perhaps to identify it as a favour to Braithewaite, given that his wife sold it after

Purchased by the John Rylands Library from Mrs. Janet Morland Braithwaite (1867-1936) in 1922.

Record Sources

Manuscript description by Jake Benson in 2023, derived from a Persian description of the volume published by Tawfiq Subhani in 1993. .


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    Muqtadir VIII, pp. 184–185, no. 746.
    Pertsch's Berlin Catalogue , pp.996—998
    Qasemi, p. 210, nos. 2262–2268.
    Sachau and Ethé, II, cols. 1290–1291. no. (11) 2318
    Tawfīq Subḥānī, 'Kitāb'hā-yi khaṭṭī-i Fārsī fihrist nashudah dar Kitābkhānah Jān Rāylāndz, Manchistir' Majallah-'i Dānishkadah-i Adabiyāt va ‘Ulūm-i Insānī n.s., Vol. 1, Nos. 2-3 (1372 SH [1993 CE]): p. 178, no. 7.

Funding of Cataloguing

The John Rylands Research Institute and Library

The Soudavar Memorial Foundation


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