Persian MS 285 (The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester)
Written in two columns with 14 lines per page. Ruled with a miṣṭārah.
Text copied in black ink in nasta’liq. At least 2 hands are identifiable.
Folio 1b: Illuminated headpiece. Marginal ruling surrounds the text, in green and blue on either side of gold outlined with thin black lines, while narrow vertical double-ruling divides the columns, in gold also outlined in black
- Catalogue Entry: Adhered on the right doublure is an entry from an unidentified sale catalogue: ‘185 Mesbeh Rashidi- The Garden of Rashidi. A very beautiful MS. : it is written in double columns in fine Taalik, a line of gold being drawn around each column, and round the page a triple border of green, gold, and blue; the paper is even and finely polished, and there is an ornamented frontispiece. 8vo, 394 pp. 2l.2s.’
- Inscription: on right flyleaf verso ‘No 7- Misbah Rashidi- The Garden of Rashidi’.
- Bookplates: left paste-down, ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with shelfmark ‘2/J’, and Left flyleaf b side ‘Bland MSS No. 540’.
Bound in medium brown sheepskin leather, with later spine and hemmed board edges in dark red goatskin leather. The original binding may have once had a flap, but it is now repaired without it (hence now a Type III binding as per Déroche). Originally stamped in blind with a central medallion with floral scrollwork and detached pendants with a lotus design, and corners with the same, all stamped on recessed thin leather onlays, all now highly abraded. The spine panels are paletted in gold with a circle-and-dart design with a fine rope tool on either side, and prominent lyres in the centres (the same is on Persian MS 109). Titled ‘'Misbah Reshidi'’ on spine with handle-letters in Latin script. Internal doublures of red goatskin, probably original. 206 × 130 × 29 mm.
- Folios 1a and 62a:
Multiple impressions of an illegible octagonal seal intaglio engraved possibly with the name of ‘Alī in black ink.26 × 26 mm.
- Folios 95a and 98a:
Two impressions— the latter partially— of an rectangular seal in black ink intaglio engraved with the name of former owner Muḥammad Kāẓim dated 1164 AH (1750–51 CE).8 × 12 mm.
Many marginalia inscribed in a poor hand.
Provenance and Acquisition
Formerly owned by an individual possibly named ‘Alī, as per seal impressions on folios 1a and 62a, then by one Muḥammad Kāẓim as per his seal impressed on folios 95a and 98a dated 1164 AH (1750–51 CE).
Subsequently acquired by 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.Revised and expanded by James White in 2018 and Jake Benson in 2020 with reference to the manuscript.
Funding of Cataloguing
Iran Heritage Foundation, the John Rylands Research Institute, and the Soudavar Foundation