Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 289 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: The Sāqīʻnāmah (Book of the Cupbearer) by Ṭughrā-yi Mashhadī (fl. 17th c.), praises the consumption of wine, a theme long celebrated in Persian poetry. Completed by Kavās̱ir Pandit, probably in the Mughal Empire on Sunday, 28 Ẕī-al-Ḥijjah 112 AH (5 June 1701 CE), this manuscript commences with a finely iluminated headpiece and features elegant, clear script copied on dull mauve-coloured paper.
Incipit: (basmala) برگ ۱پ (folio 1b): زهی لطف سازنده آب و خاک * به رقص آور سبز طاووس تاک
Explicit: برگ ۲۷۷ر (folio 277a): اگر شوخ بغداد خواهد غلام * دود یوسف مصر و گوید سلام.
Colophon: برگ ۲۷۷ر (folio 277a): این نسخه کلام لملک الشعرا ملا طغرا کاتب الحروف کواثر پندت غفر الله ذنوبهما تحریر نمود في تاریخ بیست هشتم ۲۸ ذی الحجه سنه ۱۱۱۲ تحریر نمود روز یکشنبه بوقت سه پهری تمام یافت. الهی یخشای خوننده را * عفو کن گناه نوسنده را.‌
Colophon: Completed by Kavās̱ir Pandit on Sunday, 28 Ẕī-al-Ḥijjah 112 AH (5 June 1701 CE).
Language(s): Persian

In his handlist, Michael Kerney describes this volume as a Dīvān, probably derived from the description of J. Clarke's catalogue; however, it only contains the author's one work and no others.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Textblock comprised of thin-weight, straight-grained, externally sized and polished paper tinted a dull mauve probably handmade in the Mughal Empire with ~10 laid lines per cm and no discernible chain lines.
Extent: 277 folios, 3 flyleaves (ff. i + 277 + ii).
Dimensions (leaf): 236 × 124 mm.
Dimensions (written): 167 × 108 mm.
Foliation: Unfoliated.


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


Text in fair but stable condition with extensive water stains, cockelling and historical repairs, especially pronounced at the beginning and end.


Written primarily in 2 columns with 15 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


Written in clear black nasta‘līq with red subheaders by Kavās̱ir Pandit.


Illumination: Folio 1b bears a scalloped domed headpiece with bold ultramarine palmette scrollwork on a gilt ground, and surmounted vertical radiating lines.
75 × 79 mm.

Ruling: Vertical column dividers and horizontal headers ruled in thin double black lines. Margins ruled in gold outlined with single interior and double exterior thin black lines, and surrounded by single dark blue lines.

Inscriptions: The right pastedown, top-left, bears bookseller's notations.
Folios 1a numbered ‘Nº 167’, possibly in the hand of former owner Rev. Adam Clarke .
Folio 277a, underneath the colophon, inscribed ‘1700 A. D.’ in the hand of former owner Rev. Adam Clarke .
Bookplates: The right pastedown appears to bears the remnants of a pasted catalogue entry, probably to Clarke's sale catalogue.
The left pastedown: ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with pencilled shelfmark ‘2/K’, and ‘Bland MSS No. 327’, with the name and number crossed out and ‘Persian’ and ‘123’ written aside.


Since Adam Clarke's catalogues describe a different binding, it appears that Nathaniel Bland probably had the volume rebound in its present European style binding.

Endpapers of thick wove paper added to the beginning and end. Resewn single-flexible on four raised cords, laced into pastebaords. Edges trimmed, coloured red, but endbands omitted at head and tail. Spine covered in quarter black goatskin leather, with cords in the headcaps, and the boards faced with 'Old Dutch' comb-patterned marbled papers.

Spine blind-palletted with triple fillet lines by the bands, and along the overlapped paper facing the boards.

244 × 147 × 74 mm.

Binding in good condition, albeit tight sewing restricts opening to the gutter margins.


Origin: Completed by Kavās̱ir Pandit, probably in the Mughal Empire; Sunday, 28 Ẕī-al-Ḥijjah 112 AH (5 June 1701 CE)

Provenance and Acquisition

While the circumstances under which this volume arrived in Britain remains unclear, Methodist minister Rev. Adam Clarke (1762–1832) acquired it from an unidentified source.

After Clarke's death, his son Jospeh Butterworth Bulmer Clarke (d. 1855) inherited the volume and describes its present state in a catalogue published in 1835.

The next year on 20 June 1836, Clarke's son auctioned his father's collection through the London firm of Sotheby & Son, no. 436, which bookseller John Cochran purchased for £3 11 shillings.

Probably sold by Cochran to scholar Nathaniel Bland (1803-1865) for his 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 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.

Subsequently augmented and enhanced by Jake Benson in 2024 with reference to the manuscript in hand, and in consultation with Prof Paul Losensky, Indiana University, who correctly identified the work.


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.


    ‘Abd al-Muqtadir, Catalogue of the Arabic and Persian Manuscripts in the Oriental Public Library at (Bankipore) Patna, Vol. VIII (Calcutta: Baptist Mission Press, 1925), pp. 125–126, no. 333 [Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Public Library, HL 677].
    A. C. [Adam Clarke], The Bibliographical Miscellany, Vol. 1 (London: W. Baynes, 1806), p. 317.
    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), pp. 183–184, no. 176.
    H. Ethé, Catalogue of Persian manuscripts in the library of the India Office, Vol. I (London: Printed for the India Office by H. Hart, 1903), cols. 868, no. 1586(1) [British Library IO Islamic 321(1)].
    C. Rieu, Catalogue of the Persian manuscripts in the British Museum, Vol. II (London: British Museum, 1881), p. 742 [British Library Add. 16852, &c].
    S. Sharma, Mughal Arcadia: Persian Literature in an Indian Court (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press 2018), pp. 177–178.
    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. 62, no. 436.
    C. A. Storey, Persian Literature: A Bio-bibliographical Survey, Vol. III, Pt. 2 (London: Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 1990), pp. 304–305, no. 483.

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation

The John Rylands Research Institute


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