Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

IO Islamic 4063 (St. Pancras, British Library)

Oriental Manuscripts, William Irvine

Saʻdi's Gulistan, with Bustan in margins


Summary of Contents: Saʻdī's didactic works, the Gulistān and Būstan. Although the quality of the manuscript is fine, it has suffered much from water damage, the decay of its fabric, and maltreatment. Not dated. The poor condition of the binding has revealed a number of legal and trade documents that may be worth studying in their own right. With owner's seals and inscriptions.
ff. 1v-162r
Title: Gulistān

Transcribed in main text panel

Language(s): Persian
ff. 1v-148v margins
Title: Būstān

Transcribed in narrow column in margin

Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Burnished cream paper cover in finely sprinkled flecks of gold within main text panel
Extent: 171 ff.
Dimensions (leaf): 221 × 155 mm.
Dimensions (written): 147 × 95 mm.


Folios heavily stained; worm holes; detaching text panels


1) Gulistan: excellent calligraphic nastaʿlīq; 2) Bustan: fine calligraphic nastaʿlīq-i khafī written obliquely in single marginal column; 3) later annotations in crude Indian taʿlīq


Rubrics and quotations in alternating blue and gold; jadāval or text panel and outer column rulings in gold, black, blue, and cupreous green or shangarf (now severely decayed)


Inscriptions on folios and : Gulz̲ārīlaʿl, Farrukhābād Khāṣṣ, Muḥallah Madrassah-yi Jaʿfar Khān... 20 November 1878


Leather peeling away and internal paper layers of front and back boards delaminating, exposing original texts in Urdu, Persian, and English, with seals, inventories, and letters with dates. Subjects include, for example, karkhānahs in z̤ilaʿ Farrukhabad 1835 AD; parganah Chhibramau; the kotvali of Farrukhabad; legal papers relating to a Mawlavī Muḥammad Muḥsin dated 13 May 1855/1262 faṣlī/1912 sam[v]at, etc.


Folios 56v, 57r, 147v: Rām Parshād valad-i Fatḥchand 12


Origin: Iran or Central Asia; 16th century CE

Provenance and Acquisition

William Irvine


William Irvine


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Funding of Cataloguing