Persian MS 457 (The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester)
The main text begins on folio 77b (i.e. f. 1a), with the dedication to Sultān ‘Abdallāh Quṭb Shāh (b. 1614, r. 1626–1672) followed by praise of the compiler Muḥammad Sa‘īd (d. 1663) by his title Jumlāt al-Mulk. After Chapter Four, subsequent headings omitted, and the first page of volume 2 appears missing. Note that Micheal Kerney previously identified the title as Jang-i Kalām (War of Words) and dated the volume to 1800 based upon based upon the inscription on the first right flyleaf a side (f. ia). A prior record also bore the title Jung-i Kalām-i Ismā'īlī (Anthology of the Words of Ismā‘īl); however, the actual title appears to be Jung-i Kalām-i Isti‘mālī (Anthology of Customary Sayings).
The following represents a preliminary list of the work's chapters and their place in the manuscript.
The beginning of the work is intact, but Hindu-Arabic numeral foliation in black ink on the upper left corners of the a sides begins at folio 77 and continues to 252, followed by a 'Supplement' foliated 1–76. This record employs these numbers.
Written in 1 to 2 columns with 17 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.
Copied in black nasta’līq script. Emendations in a different hand. Some chapter headings, Arabic passages and titles marked in red.
- The first right flyleaf a side (f. ia) bears the title of the volume in Persian, likely inscribed by Muhīn Dās attendant to former owner Colonel George William Hamilton, who identifies the colophon date as ‘18 ‘Īsavī’; however, the colophon omits that calendrical designation: ‘جنگ کلام استعمالی محمد سعید محرره سنه ۱۸ عیسوی بنظر پادشاه قطبشاه در آمده در علم تادیخ’
- The second right flyleaf a side (f. ia) bears the alternate title of the volume in Persian Jung-i Kalām-i Muḥammad Sa‘īd: ‘جنگ کلام محمد سعید’
- Dated notations on folio 1a:
- Top-right: Note in red dated Ramaz̤ān 1237 AH (22 May– 19 June 1822 CE).
- Top-left: Note to the left to the seal of Nāṣir al-Dīn Ḥaydar Shāh (1803–1837, r. 1827–1837) notes the number of folios, ‘225 varaq’, while another identifies the volume as ‘Jung-i Kalām-i Isti‘mālī-i Muḥammad Sa‘īd’.
- Centre-Top Note to the left of the seal of Amjad ‘Alī Shāh (1801–1847, r. 1842–1847) dated 8 Rabī‘ I 1262 AH (6 Mar. 1846 CE):
‘بتاریخ هشتم دبیع الاپل سنه ۱۲۶۲ هجری عامره رسید. ’
- Centre-Middle: ‘Number 50’ written in Persian.
- Bottom: The word taḥvīl (transfer) written above Nīnkā Bayg Khān's seal.
- Left doublure, ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with shelf mark ‘1/E’ and ‘Hamilton MSS. No. 374’.
Rebound in hybrid British-Indian style, probably in Multan for former owner Colonel George William Hamilton. Resewn at two stations, likely over cord supports put down on the first and last flyleaves, with Islamic-style twined chevron endbands in green and red silk threads. Rebound in a hybrid British-Indian style binding in full, tight backed, red goatskin leather over pasteboards without a flap (Type III binding per Déroche), with squares at the edges.
Spine and perimeters of the boards stained dark brown in about 8mm from the edges, outlined with double-ruled lines in yellow. Titled Jung-i Kalām-i Shiʿr in Persian in yellow on the spine.
278 × 170 × 40 mm.
Binding sound but very tight. White salts (spew) on the leather doublures probably resulting from prolonged exposure to moisture.
Three library seals of the kings of Awadh (Oude), intaglio-carved in nasta‘līq script in two stacked lines and impressed in vermillion ink on the first and last folios of the volume, 77b and 76b of the supplement, with a second smaller square seal impressed in black on folio 77a.
- 1: Rectangular seal impression ofthe library of Nāṣir al-Dīn Ḥaydar Shāh, King of Awadh (b. 1803 r. 1827–1837) dated 1244 AH (1828–29 CE), inscribed with his title Sulaymān Jāh:
‘ خوش است مهر کتبخانه سلیمان جاه * بهر کتاب مزین چو نقش بسم الله، ١٢۴۴’
‘Khvush ast muhur-i kitābkhānah-'i Sulaymān Jāh bahr-i kitāb; muzayyin chaw naqsh-i basmallah, 1244 ’ (‘The seal of the library of Sulaymān Jāh is good; it embellishes the book like the design of a basmallah, 1244 AH [1828–29 CE]’).
17 × 37 mm.
- 2: Rectangular seal impression surmounted by the royal emblem of Awadh, of Amjad ‘Alī Shāh, King of Awadh (b. 1801 r. 1842–1847) dated 1260 AH (1844–45 CE):
‘ ناسخ هر مهر شد چون شد مزین بر کتاب * خاتم امجد علی شاه زمان عالیجناب، ١٢٦٠ ’
‘Nāsukh har muhur shud chun shud muzayyin bar kitāb; khātim-i Amjad ‘Alī Shāh zamān-i ‘Ālījanāb, 1260’ (‘Every [prior] seal became cancelled since the book became embellished by the seal of Amjad ‘Alī Shāh in the era of his Sublime Majesty, 1260 AH [1844–45 CE]’).
53 × 45 mm.
- 3: Rectangular seal impression surmounted by the royal emblem Awadh, of Wājid ‘Alī Shāh King of Awadh (b. 1822, r. 1847–1856) dated 1262 AH (1846–47 CE):
‘ خاتم واجد علی سلطان عالم بر کتاب * ثابت و پر نور بادا تا فروغ آفتاب، ١٢۶۲ ’
‘Khātim-i Wājid ‘Alī, Sulṭān-i ‘Ālam bar kitāb, s̄abit va pur nūr bādā tā farūgh-i āftāb, 1262’ (‘The seal of Wājid ‘Alī, Sulṭān of the World, upon the book shall be permanent and as bright as sunlight, 1262 AH [1847 CE]’).
41 × 26 mm.
- 4: Also on folio 1a, bottom, below the word taḥvīla rectangular seal impression, intaglio carved in nasta‘līq script, stacked in two lines, single-ruled, of former owner or associate possibly named Nīnkā Bayg Khān dated 1230 AH (1814–15 CE).
‘ نینکا بیگ خان بندهٔ حسین، ١٢۳۰ ’
13 × 14 mm.
Provenance and Acquisition
Previously owned or inspected by an unidentified person named Nīnkā Bayg Khān, as per his seal impression on folio 1b dated 1230 AH (1814–15 CE), possibly an assitant to the royal library of Awadh during the reign of Ghazī al-Dīn Ḥaydar Shāh, r. 1818–27.
Definitely held in the royal library of Awadh in Lucknow, as indicated by dated library notations on folio 1a, and seal impressions of the Kings of Awadh Nāṣir al-Dīn Ḥaydar Shāh (b. 1803, r. 1827–1837), Amjad ‘Alī Shāh (b. 1801, r. 1842–1847), and Wājid ‘Alī Shāh (b. 1822, r. 1847–1856), then presumably looted during India's First War of Independence, when British soldiers ransacked the Kaisabagh palace and library on 15 March 1858.
Subsequently acquired by Colonel George William Hamilton (1807-1868) who served in India from 1823 to 1867, latterly as Commissioner in Delhi. He acquired over a thousand Indian and Persian manuscripts from which the British Museum selected 352 after his death, now held in the British Library.
Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880), purchased the remainder in 1868.
Purchased by Enriqueta Rylands (1843–1908) (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.
Manuscript description and delineation of chapter headings by James White in 2018.
Record amended and enhanced by Jake Benson in 2021 with reference to the volume in hand.
Manchester Digital Collections (full digital facsimile)
Funding of Cataloguing
Iran Heritage Foundation and The John Rylands Research Institute
The Soudavar Foundation