Persian MS 40 (The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester)
Two copies of Qiṣṣah-'i Mūsh va Gurbah bound together.
Bound in a full dark greenish-black goatskin leather, by Asad Khān valad-i Ḥafż Khān. Later resewn on three recessed cords, laced into new boards and recovered in tight-backed straight-grained red morocco leather at the spine and edges, probably in England, with the original sides remounted. The spine is titled GERBEH MOOSH in gold, with gilt paletted panel lines and floral decoration, while the perimeters of the boards bear decorative rolls with floral scrollwork and rope designs, with diagonal thick-and-thin with dotted lines for the interior dentelles, in keeping with late–18th-century English bindings. Handpainted endpapers featuring identical designs of a pink bird set within floral scrollwork on a yellow ground. Later endpapers of Stormont-patterned marbled paper with large gray spots over bright milori blue, green, red, and black veins added when the volume was rebound. 258 × 171 × 10 mm.
Provenance and Acquisition
Formerly in the collection of Methodist theologian Adam Clarke (ca. 1762–1832), listed as no. 84 in his library catalogue; however, it is not listed in the catalogue of his collection offered after his death by Baynes and Son. Subsequently acquired by 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 handlist by Michael Kerney, circa 1890s and his Bibliotheca Lindesiana, Hand-list of Oriental Manuscripts: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, 1898.
Revised and expanded by Jake Benson in 2020 with reference to the manuscript.
Funding of Cataloguing
Iran Heritage Foundation and The John Rylands Research Institute