Persian MS 323 (The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester)
Former owner Nathaniel Bland (1803-1865) briefly describes the first and second works in his groundbreaking essay on biographies of Persian poets published in 1848; however, he states that he only consulted a later copy of the second work but not this volume.
1 column, 13 lines per page.
Copied in black ink in a nasta’liq hand by Shaykh ʿAbd al-Karīm شيخ عبد الكريم . Red ink used to mark names of poets and poetic forms.
Table of contents on folios126a–129a in another hand.
Arabic passages, e.g. on folios138a–140a written in naskh by the same scribe who copied the rest of the text.
- Bookplates: left paste-down, ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with shelfmark ‘2/J’, and ‘Bland MSS No. 543’.
Unsupported sewing at two stations, with twined chevron headbands. Bound in a hybrid British-Indian style, tight-backed in full smooth red goatskin leather over pasteboards, in a type III binding (without flap as per Déroche), squares along the edges, defined joints, and one trimmmed headcap present at tail, with the upper one now missing. A bifolium tipped onto the right side of the textblock provides the first flyleaves, with the excess width adhered as a hinge over top.
Boards decorated with stamped paper onlay scalloped central mandorlas and corners, with detached pendants featuring large floral scrollwork designs, joined by a criss-crossed single ruled line in yellow, and bounded by the same around the perimeters of the boards.. Paper label on the spine, now faded. Titles of the three texts are inscribed directly on the spine in black ink.
212 × 166 × 35 mm.
Fair condition. Exterior binding abraded. White pigment, probably lead, appears to be shifting gray.
Provenance and Acquisition
Later acquired by scholar Nathaniel Bland (1803–1865), after whose death London bookseller Bernard Quaritch (1819–1899) sold his oriental manuscripts to Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880) in 1866.
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 with reference to the manuscript in hand.
Further amended and enhanced by Jake Benson in 2021, with reference to the volume.
Manchester Digital Collections (full digital facsimile)
Funding of Cataloguing
Iran Heritage Foundation and The John Rylands Research Institute
The Soudavar Foundation