Persian MS 47 (The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester)
While this manuscript lacks an explicit title, Michael Kearney correctly identified it as the Salīm-Shāhnāmah in his Handlist, p. 109. However, subsequent electronic records employed another title, Tārīkh-i Mawlā-yi Mulūk al-‘Arab, mistakenly derived from the dedication to Sultan Selim I on folio 4b. For a complete descriptions of the contents, see Rieu, Catalogue Vol. I, pp. 218–219 [British Library Add. 24960] and Markiewicz.
Written in 1–2 columns with 25 lines per page. Ruled with a miṣṭārah
Primarily written in nasta‘liq (Ottoman: talīḳ) script in black ink, with subheadings in gold, blue, and red riqā‘ (Ottoman: rıḳā‘) script.
- Folio 1b: headpiece.
- Throughout: subheadings and gilt marginal ruling.
- Folio 4a: illuminated roundel dedicated to Sultan Selim II, written in rayhani script in white outlined in thin black against a gold ground and set within floral scrollwork, and surrounded by radiating lines:
قد وقع توقيع هذا التاريخ برسم خزانهٔ مولى ملوك العرب والعجم السلطان بن السلطان ابو الفتح سلطان سليمشاه خان بن سليمان شاه بن سلطان سليم خان خلد الله ملكه
Folio 1a and left flyleaf: Sy 325, from de Sacy's library.
Folio 4a, top: brief inscriptions in Persian in nasta‘liq:
خط همايون ('Imperial Script') and كتاب تواريخ فارسي ('Book of Persian Histories').
- Folio 4a, bottom: Four Arabic couplets in nasta‘liq, signed underneath by one Ebū's-Su‘ūd:
سفر جليل مثل بحر زاخر * ابوابه اصداف درّ فاخر
نظمت فرائده و من بقعره * عجبا لصنع عبقري نادر
ما إن رأه ولا رواه حكاية * احد علي مر الزمان الغابر
طوي لصانعه من الحبر الذي * ورث الفضائل كابرا عن كابر
Left flyleaf: Bibliotheca Lindesiana with shelfmark F/4, and Bland MSS No. 57.
Resewn at four unsupported stations, without endbands. Originally covered in full, possibly in two-piece, tight-backed smooth dark red goatskin leather with fore-edge flap (type II binding per Déroche), but the spine was later rebacked in maroon goatskin and a new envelope flap added in the same. The exterior features sunken onlays of smooth, dark green leather, with relief areas of the deeply pressure-moulded scalloped mandorlas, attached pendants, and corners embellished and perimeters outlined in gold ink. Interior doublures lined with the same red goatskin leather as the exterior, but with pressure-moulded recessed scalloped mandorlas with gilt grounds. The fore-edge flap bears five cartouches with central knotwork designs, with ruling, all in gold, with the surrounding wide rule ruling stamped with a chain design. The replaced envelope flap exterior has blind fillet lines around the perimeter and blind European fleur-de-lis impression by the point.
306 × 206 × 33 mm.
Provenance and Acquisition
Later acquired by French orientalist Antoine-Isaac Silvestre de Sacy, (1758–1838), as per his bookplate on the right paste-down and notation on the second to last left flyleaf, verso, whose library was sold in 1843, (see de La Grange, Bibliothèque... Vol. III, Appendix no. 325).
Later acquired by scholar Nathaniel Bland (1803–1865), after whose death his oriental manuscripts were sold by 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 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. Emended and enhanced by Jake Benson in 2021 with reference to the manuscript.
Funding of Cataloguing
Iran Heritage Foundation and The John Rylands Research Institute