Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

RSPA 43 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

India Office Library

Jones Collection

Royal Society Arabic and Persian


1 copy of Mihr va Mushtarī by Muḥammad ʿAṣṣār Tibrīzī

Language(s): Persian

Incipit: بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم *** مظهر اسرار کلام قدیم
Explicit: ز عصار سخن پیذیر و بشتاب *** دری خلوت سرای زن بهر باب
Colophon: تم

The manuscript is a variant copy of the standard text. There is a gap of fifty lines after f139r and a gap of 80 lines on f142r. These have both been marked on this manuscript by the word "gap". The first seven couplets are also different from the standard recension of the text and the final line here ends the manuscript abruptly. The story proper begins on f7r.

William Jones has written out a long Persian text on the two folios which proceed the title page: "آخر از غیر در کی برح ما یکاسند / گره از کار فرو بستۀ ما بکشایند / بر دل از هیچ طرف بان مرادب نوزید / یا رد این غنچۀ پزمرده کحا یکشایند / هر که دیدی کل باغ زندگانی حید ورفتن / آمد وبر سستی اهل جهان خندید ورفت / کس در این ویرانه ده یک دانه حاصل برشت / ـمد ویک باره تخم هوس پاشید ورفت".

On f1r, Jones has written the following provenance note: "A poem of ʿAṣṣār: ʿIshknāmah The Book of Love. The Gift of Matthew Day Esq in Dhaca 27th May 1786 to Wm. Jones". Matthew Day was a revenue superintendent in Bengal.

There are ten very small miniatures located throughout the manuscript on f15v, f32v, f48r, f54r, f67r, f78v, f105v, f109v, f119v and f136v.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Very brittle brown woven paper.
Extent: ff.iv+144+iv
Dimensions (leaf): 280 × 190 mm.
Dimensions (written): 235 × 115 mm.

European numerals in pencil.


Poor condition. Extensive damage to the first few and final few folios.



Black ink ordinary nastaʿlīq with red ink subheadings.


There is a large ornamental gilded headpiece on f1v with a floral cupola design inside of which Jones has signed his name..


Jones has made infrequent marginal comments throughout the manuscript, but particularly towards the start of the text. His annotations have, over time, become very difficult to make out, presumably because of the quality of the ink. There are some other Persian black-ink annotations and marginal comments, which appear to be in the same hand as the scribe.


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

Accompanying Material


Origin: 18th century CE ; India

Provenance and Acquisition

RSPA 1-118 were presented to the Royal Society in January 1792 by Sir William and Lady 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.31 no.XLIII


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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