Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Delhi Persian 1272* (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

India Office Library

Gulistan of Sa'di, fragment


1 copy of Gulistān by Saʿdī Shīrāzī

Language(s): Persian and Arabic

Fragment from a calligraphic copy of the Gulistān by Saʿdī Shīrāzī. This copy is remarkable for its detailed colophon setting out the calligrapher’s description of the work’s importance for the moral improvement of general readers and specifically the close friend and the manuscript’s patron, whose name has been erased.

Defective at beginning.

Dated colophon (ff. 24r-26r): completed (by an unnamed calligrapher) around the age of forty, in dār al-khilāfah Shāhjahānābād, as a memento for the close friend (muṣāḥib va damsāz), at the request (ḥasb al-farmāyish) of the noble Navvāb […n] Bahādur (name erased), who is expected to rise to the station of ministership, Friday evening, 17 Rabīʿ al-Avval in RY 26 of Emperor Muḥammad Shāh, 1157/30 April 1744.

Neat calligraphic nastaʿlīq, occasionally lapsing into shikastah āmīz.

Annotations in margins and interlinear spaces by multiple hands.

Intermittent pencil foliation.

Lacking original binding.

Paper dust wrapper (informal list of Indian toponyms beginning the letter jīm and map or atlas coordinates/page numbers); creased, stained, torn; labelled ‘not worth keeping’.

Folios unbound and loose, disordered; excessive wormhole damage; creased, stains, cropped.

Condition extremely fragile due to excessive wormhole damage.

Not suitable for handling.

Title: Gulistān

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 26 ff.
Dimensions (leaf): 177 × 97 mm.



Origin: 17_Rabi'-I_1157 AH; 30 April 1744 CE Shāhjahānābād ; India, Delhi

Provenance and Acquisition

Purchased by the Government of India at sale organised by Delhi Prize Agents, 1859; administrative deposit India Office Library, 1876


Government of India


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Funding of Cataloguing



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