Persian MS 203 (The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester)
The textblock is of cross-grained Indian handmade paper with a light size and polish, but subsequently mould and insect damaged, especially on the opening folios, after which it was repaired throughout, probably when rebound.
Flyleaves of wove paper watermarked J Whatman dated 1816.
Single column with 15 lines per page.
Written in a neat and legible nasta‘liq script in black ink throughout.
Notes in black ink — possibly Bland's hand — and in pencil.
- Inscription: folio ia, ‘Tales of the Genii’
- Inscription: spine, ‘Kissahi Char Derwish’ (Tale of the Four Dervishes).
- Marginalia: extensive English and Persian marginal annotations in both pencil and ink, likely in the hand of Nathaniel Bland.
- Bookplates: back paste-down, Bibliotheca Lindesiana with shelfmark ‘F/9’, and ‘Bland MSS No. 424’.
- Bottom spine edge of left board Circular label with unidentified shelf mark: ‘439/2’.
Quarter paper binding (Type III binding per Déroche, without flap) with buff-coloured paper spine and European Stormont patterned marbled paper sides, and blue sprinkled edges. Titled ‘Kissahi Char Derwish’ (Tale of the Four Dervishes) in Latin script in black ink on the spine. 226 × 153 × 13 mm.
Provenance and Acquisition
Formerly part of the collection of the Persian scholar Nathaniel Bland (1803–1865), after whose death his oriental manuscripts were sold through Bernard Quaritch (1819–1899) in 1866 to Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880).
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.
Bibliographical description based on an index created by Reza Navabpour circa 1993, derived from a manuscript catalogue by Michael Kerney, circa 1890s and his Bibliotheca Lindesiana, Hand-list of Oriental Manuscripts: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, 1898. Emended and enhanced by Jake Benson in 2020 with reference to the manuscript.
Funding of Cataloguing
Iran Heritage Foundation and The John Rylands Research Institute