Persian MS 991 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)
S. H. Qasemi documents 244 manuscripts and printed editions of this work. C. A. Storey also notes various manuscripts and translations into English, German, French, Turkish, and Urdu. For other copies of this work held in the Rylands, see Persian MS 88, 199, 463, 919, and and 1017. For another glossary of terms found in this work entitled Rang-i Bahār by ‘Abd al-Bāqī, see Persian MS 477.
Written in 1 column with 19 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.
Written in a hasty black shikastah hand with red subheaders.
- The second right flyleaf a side (f. iib) numbered ‘Nº 18’ in pencil at top, with a French description of the work underneath:
‘Roman sur les minauderies simagrées des femmes por un Secretaire de Chadjahan Nommé Enayatolla.’.
- Folios 10a and b inscribed with .
Probably rebound for the Univeristy of Manchester Library in the mid-20th century.
Resewn, with modern, heavy-weight, ivoury-coloured, machine-made wove endpapers added at the beginning and end. Edges left untrimmed, spine lined, with one machine-made headband adhered to the head only. Covered in quarter chieftain goatskin leather with commercially printed 'shell'-patterned marbled paper sides.
Spine bears four false raised bands. Bands paletted with two parallel single fillets with trefoils at right and left, and a blind lines on either side. Titled:
ALLAH’. Compare with the rebacked spines of Persian MS 977 and 978
280 × 178 × 46 mm.
Handle binding with caution. In fair but stable condition, tightly very sewn with restricted openings to the gutter margins.
The second right flyleaf a side (f. iia) bears a rectangular black seal impression, intaglio-carved in three stacked nasta‘līq lines, double-ruled, with the name of Jean-Baptiste Joseph Gentil dated 1182 AH (1768–69 CE):
‘جنتیل بهادر ناظم جنگ مدیر الملک رفیع الدوله ۱۱۸۲’
18 × 22 mm.
- A letter hinged between the second right folio b side (iib) to 1a bears a folded letter dated 30 June 1918 written by University of Manchester lecturer of Semitic languages Maurice A Canney to the Vice-Chancellor when he returned the volume with his assesmentof it.
- A quaternion appended to the end of the volume bears a glossary of terms in the text in a hasty shikastah hand (compare with Persian MS 477) followed by Arabic prayers interspersed with Persian commentaries, written in hasty naskh and nasta‘līq respectively.
- Another singleton follows that bears random passages in yet another hasty shikastah hand that include a sleep remedy, verses, and anecdotes.
Provenance and Acquisition
Previously owned by Jean-Baptiste Gentil (1726–1799 CE) as per his seal impression on folio 1a. Presumably sold by Gentil before his death or by his family thereafter; however the circumstances of the volume's arrival in Britain remain unclear.
Subsequently acquired by one ‘Mrs. Barnston’ (or possibly ‘Bainston’?) who presented it to the University of Manchester Library; however the exact date remains unclear. She may possibly be Mary Emma Barnston (1837–1918), wife of Maj. William Barnston (1832–1872), and sister in-law of Maj. Roger Barnston (1826–1857) of Crewe Hill, Farndon, Cheshire. The latter served in India and ultimately died at Kanpur of wounds received at Lucknow in 1857. Hence, he may have acquired the volume during his tenure in India, which the family then receieved with his effects, which may explain how this volume arrived in Britain. After Roger's death, his brother William inherited Crewe Hill which Emma then managed after her husband passed, it until her son came of age in 1891. Note that although Rafiee-Rad's catalogue implies this volume formerly belonged to Samuel Robinson of Wilmslow, the evidence only suggests that Barnston ever owned it.
Transferred to the John Rylands Library in circa 1975 after it merged with the University of Manchester.
Bibliographical description derived from Siavash Rafiee-Rad, 'Persian Manuscripts in Samuel Robinson’s Collection in The John Rylands Library' (2017).
Manuscript description by Jake Benson in 2022 with reference to the volume in hand.
Funding of Cataloguing
The John Rylands Research Institute and Library
The Soudavar Memorial Foundation