Persian MS 539 (The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester)
The opening differs from most standard editions of the Dīvān and contains many variant verses.
Written in 2 columns with 15 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide, with marginal ruling in red.
Written primarly in nasta‘līq script in black with subheaders in red.
Folio 1b bears an illuminated header.
Unsupported sewing at two stations with heavy s-twist cotton or linen thread. Twined chevron endbands at head and tail in yellow and red silk with what appears to be tarnished silver silk threads. Covered in full smooth maroon goatskin leather ovr pasteboards without a flap (type III binding as per Déroche), with internal doublures of the same goatskin leather as used on the exterior, with the excess width put down as leather hinges on the first and last flyleaves, then covered by a strip of paper with a decorative zig-zag cut adhered over the hinges.
Covers decorated with hand-painted bushed bearing a variety of flowers in different colours, outlined in black and gold inks, with hand=painted sprays in the corners and the perimeters of the boards bounded by a wide ruling in black decorated with a scrollwork vine in gold ink. Spine hand-lettered in yellow ink with the title of the work in Persian: ‘دیوان شمس تبریزی’ ‘Dīvān-i Shams-i Tabrīzī’
347 × 220 × 60 mm.
Handle with caution: hand-painted surfaces exposed and abraded. Boards yawning.
Provenance and Acquisition
From the collection of Colonel George William Hamilton (1807-1868) who served in India from 1823 to 1867, latterly as Commissioner in Delhi.He collected 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) then purchased the remainder in 1868.
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. Identification of provenance based on manuscript catalogue by Michael Kerney, circa 1890s.
Dating information from Kerney, Bibliotheca Lindesiana, Hand-list of Oriental Manuscripts: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, 1898.
Manuscript description by Jake Benson in 2021 with reference to the volume in hand.
Funding of Cataloguing
Iran Heritage Foundation and The John Rylands Research Institute