Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

RAS Persian 258. (Library, Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland)

Persian Manuscripts


1 copy of Gulistan by Saʻdī

Title: Gulistan.

Two folios preceding the text, have less finely decorated blue margins and have illuminated texts in Arabic. The verso of the final folio and two additional folios have similar blue margins and bear Persian texts written in shikastah script. The third and fifth pages have the signature of Murid Khan Tabataba. Pasted inside back cover: notice giving the number of the MS in the Royal Academy's exhibition of Indian Art, 1948. A famous manuscript of the highest quality, produced under the Mughal Emperor Akbar. In good condition. The join between the paper of the text and the margins is concealed by ruled lines. Verses are set in panels with dividers separating hemistichs. The text and horizontal and vertical panels are enlivened throughout with minute figures of birds and animals. The broad margins, of blue paper, are decorated with scrolls and figures of animals and birds in gold. A miniature under the colophon shows the calligrapher and the artist, Manohar son of Basawan, who are identified in the text of two letters they are shown writing. Stuck on to the recto of f1a is a Mughal drawing, with some touches of colour, of later date, showing a bearded and turbaned teacher with a class of female students and attendants.

Incipit: Minnat Khuday-ra 'azza wa jalla kih ta'atash maujib-i qurbat ast.
Language(s): Persian.


As for Codrington/Reade No 251.
For Edmonstone's bequest see the donations register under November 6 1841, p. 408 and J.R.A.S., viii, Annual Report, p. x, Proceedings, p. xxxi. See John Seyller, 'The colophon portrait of the Royal Asiatic Society Gulistan of Sa'di', Artibus Asiae, lxviii, 2 (2008). pp. 333-342, with extensive bibliography.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: Folios 128
Dimensions (leaf): 12.5


12 lines on a page


English green morocco binding with tooled decoration.


Origin: Fathpur (Sikri) A.H. 990.

Provenance and Acquisition

Bequeathed by Neil Benjamin Edmonstone.


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