Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Add. 25900 (St. Pancras, British Library)

Oriental Manuscripts


1 copy of Khamsah-ʼi Niẓāmī by 2 authors

Language(s): Persian


For a more detailed description see Rieu 1876-83, page 570.
For a more detailed description see Titley 1977, page 137.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 316 ff
Dimensions (leaf): 19.1 × 12.1 cm.



Written in a minute and elegant nastaʿlīq


19 miniatures,

5 Illumination

A prince and his retinue being entertained at night in a garden.

Preparations for a banquet.

Sulṭān Sanjar and the old woman.

Shīrīn looking at the portrait of Khusrau watched by Shāpūr (dated AH 846).

Khusrau watching Shīrīn bathing.

Farhād carrying Shīrīn and her horse. Sculptures on the rocks.

A servant laying a carpet before Khusrau's horse as he arrives at Shīrīn's castle. (Inscription gives the date Rajab 898 and a quatrain).

Lailā and Majnūn at school. (Inscriptions: on the architrave: Hasten to prayer before food and hasten to repentence before death. Below: A believer in the mosque is like a fish in water).

Majnūn at the Ka'bah with his father and other pilgrims. (Inscriptions: above door: Hasten to prayer before food. Above: Ḳuranic text).

Battle of the tribes watched by Majnūn (Bihzād).

Majnūn with the animals in the desert.

Bahrām Gūr killing the dragon (Bihzād).

Bahrām Gūr with the Indian Princess in the Black Pavilion.

Māhān confronted by dīvs finds his horse transformed into a seven-headed dragon. (Story told by the Princess of Khvarazm).

Battle between Iskandar and Dārā (Bihzād).

Iskandar comforting the dying Dārā.

Nūshābeh recognising Iskandar by his portrait. (Inscription: The gate of the afflicted ones through which God comes).

Iskandar visiting the hermit.

Iskandar lassoing Kintāl, the Russian champion.


Bound in painted covers


Origin: Herat; 846 AH

Record Sources

Manuscript description based on Ch. Rieu: Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts in the British Museum. London, 1879-1883


Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card. For admissions procedures contact British Library, Registering for a Reader Pass). Contact apac-enquiries@bl.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript

Funding of Cataloguing



Comment on this record

Please fill out your details.

How are we using your feedback? See our privacy policy.