Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 148 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: The first of two incomplete volumes of the Nafāʾis al-Funūn fī ʿArāʾis al-ʿUyūn (Troves of the Arts in the Eyes of the Brides) by the Ilkhanid-era author Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Maḥmūd Āmulī (d. ca. 1352). A famous encyclopedia describing one hundred and twenty different arts, the author modelled his work on another well-known medieval encyclopedia, Durrat al-Tāj (Pearl of the Crown) by Quṭb al-Shīrāzī (ca. 1236–1311).
Incipit: (basmalla) برگ ۱پ (Folio 1b): حمد و ثنا و شکری بی منتها حضرت پادشاهی را که افکار اذکیا و انظار عقلا در پیدای عظمت و معرفت گیریای اواز قصور ادراک هر دم ندای سبحانكماعر فانك میدهد...
Explicit: ...و تحسن الی من اسماء الیک و تحقیقت این خصلتیست که هیچکس بکتبه شرف این نرسد و قدر وصف این نداند چه فایزید و خود را .
Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Textblock of medium-weight, straight-grained, externally sized and polished, ivory-coloured paper probably handmade in the Indian subcontinent with ~8 laid lines per cm and no discernible chain lines.
Dimensions (leaf): 284 × 204 mm.
Dimensions (written): 258 × 162 mm.
Foliation: Unfoliated.


Undetermined. Catchwords throughout most of the lower-left corners of the b sides.


Handle text with caution. In fair condition, with extensive water and insect damage and historical repairs throughout.


Written in 1 column with 17 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


Written in clear black nasta‘līq with red subheaders.


Probably rebound in the early 19th century in Paris for former owner John Staples Harriott.

296 × 217 × 34 mm.


Origin: Possibly completed in the Indian subcontinent; undated, but possibly 18th century CE.

Provenance and Acquisition

Subsequently acquired by scholar Nathaniel Bland (1803–1865) for his library at Randalls Park, Leatherhead. After his death, London bookseller Bernard Quaritch (1819–1899) sold his oriental manuscripts to Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880) in 1866, and 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.


    H. Ethé, Catalogue of Persian manuscripts in the library of the India Office, Vol. 1 (London: Printed for the India Office by H. Hart, 1903), cols. 1212–1215, nos. 2221–2225 [British Library IO Islamic 1099, etc.].
    C. Rieu, Catalogue of the Persian manuscripts in the British Museum, Vol. II (London: British Museum, 1881), pp. 435–438 [British Library Add. 16827, etc].
    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. 909–913, nos. 1483–1491 [Bodleian Fraser 175, etc.].
    C. A. Storey, Persian Literature: A Bio-bibliographical Survey, Vol. II, Pt. 3 (London: Luzac & Co., 1977), pp. 355–357, no. 593.

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation

The John Rylands Research Institute


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