Persian MS 55 (The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester)
This manuscript is mislabelled as Majālis al-nafā'is in Kerney's handlist and the error is transplanted into B.W. Robinson's catalogue of illustrated manuscripts in the Rylands Library. On f.7a it is stated that the manuscript was compiled by an editor in the time of Mīr ʿAlīshīr, and that the work was completed in the year 929 AH and named Khulāṣat al-ash‘ār. In the text itself, the work is called Khulāṣat al-ash‘ār on f.10b, and it is dated through both through the chronogram "farkhunda" (939) and through the explicit mention of the year 939 on f.11a. [J. White, 2017.]
European foliation in pencil, including flyleaves, so manuscript begins on folio 9.
Text in text-block and margin. Two columns in text-block, 16 lines per column. With a marginal column written diagonally of 14 lines.
Copied in black ink in a Nasta'liq hand by Muḥammad Kātib al-Lārī.
The manuscript contains ten large illuminated headings, and many smaller ones, alongside eight double-page miniatures and fourteen decorative pages. For a full description of the illuminations, paintings and decoupe pages in the manuscript, see B.W. Robinson, Persian Paintings in the John Rylands Library: A Descriptive Catalogue (London, 1980) pp. 158-163
- f.2a Seal in red wax dated 1224 AH
- Marginalia f.233b reader’s notes, including date 1199 AH
Red European leather binding on pasteboard. Early nineteenth century.
Provenance and Acquisition
Formerly part of the collection of the Persian scholar Nathaniel Bland (1803-1865). Bland’s oriental manuscripts were sold through Bernard Quaritch in 1866 to Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford.
Purchased by Enriqueta Rylands, on behalf of the John Rylands Library, in 1901 from James Ludovic Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford.
Bibliographical description based on an index created by Reza Navabpour circa 1993. Identification of provenance based on manuscript catalogue by Michael Kerney, circa 1890s. Revised and expanded by James White with reference to the manuscript 2017.
Funding of Cataloguing
Iran Heritage Foundation and The John Rylands Research Institute
The Soudavar Foundation