Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 14 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: This copy of the Dīvān of Ḥāfiẓ (ca. 1315–1390) contains most of the ghazal lyric poems and quatrains typically found in other copies. It also features thirteen commercial illustrations. While the colophon alleges that a scribe and painter named Aḥmad ‘Alī Kashmīrī completed this volume in 1050 AH (1640–1641 CE), the paper for the textblock appears likely manufactured in the late 18th century.
Scribe, Depicted, Art copyist and Dubious author: Aḥmad ‘Alī Kashmīrī;
احمد علی کشمیری
Title: Dīvān
Title: دیوان
Incipit: (preface) برگ ۱ر (folio 1a): حمد بیحد و ثنای دو سپاس مقایس مر حضرت خداوند...
Incipit: (basmala) برگ ۵پ (folio 5b): اَلا یا اَیُّهَا السّاقی اَدِرْ کَأسَاً و ناوِلْها * که عشق آسان نمود اوّل ولی افتاد مشکل‌ها
Explicit: برگ ۱۳۴پ (folio 134b): دل چون نسیم یار ز بادِ صبا شنید * از یارِ آشْنا سخنِ آشْنا شنید | هنوز قصه مجران و داستا[ن] تفراق * بسر نرفت و پایان نشد نفراق
Colophon: برگ ۱۳۴پ (folio 134b): هذا الکتاب خواجه حافظ شیرازی فی سنه الف و الخمسین فایز الاختام العبد خواجه احمد علی کشمیری
Colophon: Allegedly completed by Aḥmad ‘Alī Kashmīrī in the year 1050 AH (1640–1641 CE).

The text ends with a variant line of Hafiz followed by another adpated from Sa'dī. One of ten copies of this work held in the Rylands, for others see Persian MS 34, 50, 262, 263, 288, 563, 842, 945, 946, and 1001–1003 (3 vols).

Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Original textblock of cross-grained, externally sized and polished, amber-tinted paper handmade in Europe with ~9 laid lines per cm and between chain lines.
Extent: 135 folios, 2 flyleaves (ff. iii + 135 + iii).
Dimensions (leaf): 275 × 184 mm.
Dimensions (written): 174 × 91 mm.
Foliation: Modern Arabic numerals pencilled on the upper-left corners of the a sides starting on folio 1Aa hence under by one.


Collation significantly altered during restoration II+1(5)1III-1(11)1III(17)1IV+3(44)1IV(52)1I(54)2II(62)1V(73)1II(77)1II+2(86–89)V+2(101) 1III+1(108)2IV(125)1IV+1(134) Catchwords throughout most of the lower-left corners of the b sides.


In fair condition, with moderate water and insect damage and historical repairs throughout.


Obliquely written in 5 horizontal columns with 6 lines each, hence 30 per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


Written in clear black nasta‘līq with red subheaders.


Thirteen illustrations, many gilt rendered in hasty commercial South Asian style; however, some drawings reflect provincial neo-Ottoman figures. They depict Ḥafiẓ as an ascetic, his lover Shākhnabāt, as well as an alleged self-portrait of the painter Aḥmad ‘Alī Kashmīrī in the colophon.


  1. Folio 5b:
    Ḥafiẓ appears in front of a building while angels fly down and pour divine wine of inspiration into his glass.
    Illustration: 90 × 63 mm. Margin: 120 × 90 mm.
  2. Folio 8a:
    Ḥafiẓ encounters a drunken princely party. 107 × 93 mm.
  3. Folio 9a:
    Ḥafiẓ and Shākhnabāt meet outdoors. 101 × 91 mm.
  4. Folio 59a:
    Ḥafiẓ stands whilst speaking to Shākhnabāt sits on a gilded bench. 100 × 92 mm.
  5. Folio 67b:
    Ḥafiẓ and Shākhnabāt drink wine and embrace on an outdoor veranda. 100 × 94 mm.
  6. Folio 79b:
    Shākhnabāt appears to feed a destitute Hafiz. 103 × 93 mm.
  7. Folio 85a:
    Ḥafiz fends off an archer. 105 × 92 mm.
  8. Folio 92a:
    Portrait of a nobleman. 92 × 63 mm.
  9. Folio 96b:
    Ḥafiz stands and entreats with a princely patron drinking on an outdoor veranda. 145 × 91 mm.
  10. Folio 107b:
    Portrait of a nobleman. 102 × 91 mm.
  11. Folio 109b:
    Portrait of a warrior. 108 × 91 mm.
  12. Folio 121a:
    Ḥafiz entreats with birds outdoors. 108 × 91 mm.
  13. Folio 121a:
    Purported portrait of the painter, Aḥmad ‘Alī Kashmīrī. ~68 mm. diam.

Illumination: The preface on folio 1b bears a scalloped dome headpiece, with floral scrollwork set against a blue ground, above a rectangle with a gilt cartouche containing a nasta‘līq basmalah.
105 × 110 mm.

The poems on folio 5b opens with a rectangle of floral scrollwork designs around a gilt cartouche containing a nasta‘līq basmalah.
42 × 95 mm.

  • The right flyleaf a side (f. ia) numbered ‘317’.
  • The right flyleaf b side (f. ib) bears a note in the hand of former owner ‘317’.
  • Folios 1a numbered numbered ‘Nº 365’.
  • The final left flyleaf a side (f. via) bear numbers pertaining to the sale of Adam Clarke's library:
    Nº 52’.
Bookplates and Tickets: The final left flyleaf a side (f. via): Pasted ticket of publisher and bookseller Thomas Kaye :

‘T. Kaye, Bookseller, Stationer, Printer & Publisher of the Liverpool Courier 42. Castle Street, Liverpool.’

13 × 23 mm.
The left pastedown: ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with pencilled shelfmark ‘F/4’, and ‘Bland MSS No. 24’, with the name and number crossed out and ‘Persian’ and ‘14’ written aside.


Joseph Clarke describes the present binding, hence necessarily rebound before 1835. While it lacks his binder's ticket, the style closely comports with others volumes bound by the London firm of Charles Lewis (1786-1836).

Leather jointed endpapers prepared of yellow wove paper stiff-leaved with lilac tinted upper flyleaves added to the beginning and end. Resewn on on four recessed cords laced into the pasteboards each with cluster of four bevelled octagonal recesses in the centres. Edges trimmed and gilded, then decorative double-core French-style endbands worked in red and yellow silk threads at head and tail. Bound in full dark lilac, coated and artificially grained morocco goatskin leather hollow-backed over four false bands on the spine but tight jointed, and with wide turn-ins.

Boards elegantly gold-tooled with five open cruciform designs with central florets and dots on the arms, surrounded by single fillet diamonds with solid dots at the joins, all connected with the same fillet lines which also surround the octagons. The central decoration connects to an inner margin with foliate scrollwork cornerpieces and stylized trefoils at the joins (the latter also seen on Persian MS 27). All bounded by exterior margins of single and double fillet lines with stylized trefoils at the joins. Board edges beard double fillets, while the interior dentelled bear palmette fleurons in the corners, connected pairs of single thin fillet lines joined at the leaves, with single lines also connecteding the bases, with dots on the joins. Spine panels bear mitred triple pallet rectangles, with the triple single lines terminating in bold auricular palmettes. Titled:

285 × 196 × 36 mm.

Handle binding with caution. In fair but stable condition, with endbands broken and external abrasion.


Folio 1a and 5bbear partially legible rectangular black seal impressions, intaglio-carved in three stacked nasta‘līq script lines, single-ruled, perhaps bearing the name of Francis Hunter Whytall, dated 1212 AH (1798 CE): ‘فرانسیس ۱۷۹۸ هنتر ۱۲۱۲ واتل ’ 11 × 13 mm.


Origin: Allegedly completed by Aḥmad ‘Alī Kashmīrī 1050 AH (1640 CE)

Provenance and Acquisition

While the circumstances under which this volume arrived in Britain remain unclear, a prior European owner evidently acquired the manuscript on 9 Dec. 1819

Subsequntly obtained by Methodist theologian Adam Clarke (1762–1832) from an unknown source.

After Clarke's death, his son Jospeh Butterworth Bulmer Clarke (d. 1855) inherited the volume and describes it in his catalogue, no. 52, published in 1835.

The next year, Clarke's son auctioned his father's collection through the London firm of Sotheby & Son on 20 Jun. 1836, lot 121, where bookseller William Straker purchased the manuscript for £10.

Straker then probably sold the volume to scholar Nathaniel Bland (1803–1865) for the latter's library at Randalls Park, Leatherhead.

After Bland's death, London bookseller Bernard Quaritch (1819–1899) sold his oriental manuscripts to Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880) in June, 1866, paid in two instalments of £450 and £400, and then moved to Bibliotheca Lindesiana at Haigh Hall, Wigan.

Purchased by Enriqueta Rylands (1843–1908) in 1901 from James Ludovic Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford (1847–1913).

Bequeathed by Enriqueta Rylands (1843–1908) in 1908 to the John Rylands Library, Manchester.

Record Sources

Bibliographical description based on an index created by Reza Navabpour circa 1993, derived from a manuscript catalogue by Michael Kerney, circa 1890s, concisely published as Bibliotheca Lindesiana, Hand-list of Oriental Manuscripts: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, 1898.

Manuscript description by Jake Benson in 2023 with reference to the volume in hand.


To book an in-person or online appointment to consult the manuscript, visit Using the Special Collections Reading Rooms. For any other enquiries please email uml.special-collections@manchester.ac.uk.


    A. C. [Adam Clarke], The Bibliographical Miscellany, Vol. 1 (London: W. Baynes, 1806), pp. 317–318.
    J. B. B. Clarke, A historical and descriptive catalogue of the European and Asiatic manuscripts in the library of the late Dr. Adam Clarke, F.S.A., M.R.I.A. (London: J. Murray, 1835), p. 143, no. 52.
    C. H. de Fouchécour, 'Ḥāfiẓ', Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, (2018)
    Ḥāfiẓ, The Dīvān Translated by Col. W. H. Clarke, 2 Vols. Calcutta: Government of India Central Printing Office, 1891.
    D. N. Marshall, Mughals in India: A Bibliographical Survey. Vol. 1. Manuscripts (Bombay: Asia Publishing House, 1962), p. 168, no. 561.
    G. Ouseley, Biographical Notices of Persian Poets; with Critical and Explanatory Remarks... (London: Oriental Translation Fund, 1846), pp. 23–42, no. 2.
    C. Rieu, Catalogue of the Persian manuscripts in the British Museum, Vol. II (London: British Museum, 1881), pp. 627–632 [British Library Add. 7759, &c].
    E. Sachau and H. Ethé, Catalogue of the Persian, Turkish, Hindûstani, and Pushtû manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Vol. I (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1889), cols. 578–592, nos. 815–853 [Bodleian MS Ouseley 148, &c.].
    Sotheby and Son, Catalogue of the Highly Interesting and Valuable Collection of European and Asiatic Manuscripts of the late Dr. Adam Clarke, F.S.A., M.R.I.A. (London: [Printed by Compton and Richie], 1836), p. 16, no. 121.
    Tawfīq Subḥānī, 'Kitāb'hā-yi khaṭṭī-i Fārsī fihrist nashudah dar Kitābkhānah Jān Rāylāndz, Manchistir' Majallah-'i Dānishkadah-i Adabiyāt va ‘Ulūm-i Insānī n.s., Vol. 1, Nos. 2-3 (1372 SH [1993 CE]): p. 165, no. 4. [Rylands Persian MS 965]
    E. Yarsharter et al, 'Hafez', Encyclopædia Iranica, Vol. XI, Fasc. 5 (2002), pp. 461–507.

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation

The Persian Heritage Foundation

The John Rylands Research Institute


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