Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 317 (The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Tuḥfah-ʼi Sāmī by Sām Mīrzā, 1517-1576 or 7

The text is complete, although there appear to be significant differences with the print editions.

Incipit: لله الحمد قبل كل كلام بصفات الجلال والاكرام
Explicit: این نوشتم تا بر آید روزگار من نمانم خط بماند یادگار
Colophon: f. 150a Copying completed on 22 Ramadan 977 (1570).
Language(s): Persian, with some English and one page of Arabic.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Copied on polished, cream-coloured paper. Some folios repaired with fibrous wove paper
Extent: ff. i + 150 + i
Dimensions (leaf): 235 × 135 mm.
Dimensions (written): 155 × 80 mm.


Insect damage throughout. Text block rebound and sewn.


1 and 2 columns. 16 lines of text per page.


Copied in black ink in a neat Nasta'liq hand. Red ink used to mark names of poets, poetic forms and Arabic text

f.150b copied in vowelled naskh.

  • f.ia Signature of W. Chatfield. Signature of S.H. Lewin, dated 1823.
  • f.ia The following note: "Histoire des poetes ecrite en Persan par Sam Mirza fils de Schah Ismael Safi premier roi de Perse de la dynastie des Sofis. Voy. le notice par S. de Sacy (Not. et Extraits des MSS du roi t.IV p. 273)."
  • f.1a Faded seals and readers' notes. The manuscript entered the library of Nawāb Ṣāḥib ʿAlī Khān Bahādur in 1187 AH .
  • f.150b consists of a faded page of text in Arabic on a Shi'ite topic.
  • The volume contains loose lists in English, perhaps compiled by Nathaniel Bland, listing the poets featured.


Brown leather on pasteboard. Text block is sewn and glued.


Origin: 977 AH (1570 CE)

Provenance and Acquisition

The manuscript entered the library of Nawāb Ṣāḥib ʿAlī Khān Bahādur in 1187 AH (c. 1773).

It was later owned presumably by a French owner, who inscribed the note on folio 1a. Other former owners include 'W. Chatfield' (possibly William Chatfield (1815-1902)) and Samuel Hawtayne Lewin (1795-1840) in 1823.

Formerly part of the collection of the Persian scholar Nathaniel Bland (1803-1865). Bland’s oriental manuscripts were sold through Bernard Quaritch in 1866 to Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford.

Purchased by Enriqueta Rylands, on behalf of the John Rylands Library, in 1901 from James Ludovic Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford.

Record Sources

Bibliographical description based on an index created by Reza Navabpour circa 1993. Identification of provenance based on manuscript catalogue by Michael Kerney, circa 1890s. Revised and expanded by James White with reference to the manuscript 2017.


The manuscript is available for consultation by any accredited reader, see Becoming a Reader for details. Please contact uml.special-collections@manchester.ac.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript.

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation and The John Rylands Research Institute

The Soudavar Foundation


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