Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

RSPA 29 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

India Office Library

Jones Collection

Royal Society Arabic and Persian


1 copy of Dīvān-i Anvarī by Awḥad al-Dīn Anvarī

Language(s): Persian

Incipit: بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم. ملک مصونست وحصن ملک حصین است *** منت وافر خدابرا که چنین است
Explicit: یک قطره از آن بر رخ زیبات رسید *** وین خال بدان خوشه گست پدید
Colophon: تمت الکتاب بعون الله الملک الوهاب کتبه فاصل

The scribe signs his name as Fāṣil.

The Dīvān begins with the long qaṣīdahs on f1v, followed by shorter qaṣīdahs on f135r. The muqaṭṭaʿāt begin on f170v; the gahzals on f250v; there are more muqaṭṭaʿāt beginning on f315v; satirical poems are on f326r and the rubāʿiyyat begin on f331r. The satirical poems are introduced by a prose biographical anecdote about the poet's financial circumstances and his poetic career.

The manuscript was previously owned by Thomas Ford, who dated his acquisition of it to 6th November 1779 on f1v. Ford was the Persian interpreter to Colonel Grainger Muir of the East India Company. On f1r, Jones notes "Bought at Calcutta 4 November 1783 for 35 Rs".

On f1v there is a large ornamental headpiece in blue and gold with a floral design and what appears to be four swans drawn around the corners. Jones has signed his name inside the headpiece.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Thick cream woven paper.
Extent: ff.ii+357+iv
Dimensions (leaf): 255 × 160 mm.
Dimensions (written): 190 × 100 mm.

European numerals in pencil.


Good condition. Supports and guards. Very large ink spill on f343v.



Neat nastaʿlīq.


Gilded ruled margins.


There are very few annotations. Someone has highlighted one poem with a star and curly bracket on f294r.


Standard India Office half-leather binding with wine coloured marbled endpapers.

Seal bearing the legend "Mīr Abū ʿAlī Khān Bahādur 1172"


Legible but partially faded, including the date which is difficult to read. Seal date could also be 1173. This date range is equivalent to 1758-60AD. There is a small seal above this, but this has faded almost entirely.

Accompanying Material


Origin: 16th century CE ; India

Provenance and Acquisition

RSPA 1-118 were presented to the Royal Society in January 1792 by Sir William and Lady Jones. This manuscript was presented by William Jones.

The Royal Society's collection of 280 Persian and Arabic, and 86 Sanskrit manuscripts were transferred to the India Office Library in 1876.


India Office Library

Record Sources

Manuscript description based on E. Denison Ross and E. G. Browne, Catalogue of two collections of Persian and Arabic manuscripts preserved in the India Office Library (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1902), p. 24-5 no. XXIX


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. For information on catalogues and ordering manuscripts see Finding and ordering Persian manuscripts in the British Library.

Funding of Cataloguing



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