Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 610 (The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: Risālah dar Ṣaydīyah, (Treatise on Hunting) a zoological work by Muḥammad bin Abī Ṭalib Zāhidī Jīlānī, whom many identify as Shaykh ʿAlī Ḥazīn (d.1180/1766-7). The work contains an introduction on the legality of hunting, followed by the first chapter that presents various land and sea animals by name, a second on their origins, and a third on their senses and faculties.

Many sources identify the author of this work as Shaykh ʿAlī Ḥazīn (d.1180/1766-7), but this claim awaits confirmation.

Incipit: (basmalla) برگ ۱پ (folio 1b): سپاس بیقیاس که مدارک اوهام از استقضای اصولش قاصر و مسالک افهام از استیعاب فروعش خایر آید شایسته خباتی است.
Explicit: برگ ۷۹پ (folio 79b): و اشارت بهمين معنى است اين بيت مثنوى: جمله حیوان را بی انسان بکش * از آنسان را مکیش از بهرش
Colophon: برگ ۷۹پ (folio 79b): و الله الموفق اللخير و الصواب واليه المرجع و الماب و الصلواه على خاتم الرساله و علی آله الاطهار و صحبه الاخبار[؟] تمت تما شد.
Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Cross-grained, medium-weight ivory-coloured, laid paper, handmade in Indiasized and polished, ~1.5 mm between laid lines, no observable chain lines.
Extent: 79 folios (ff. i + 79 + i)
Dimensions (leaf): 227 × 155 mm.
Dimensions (written): 167 × 89 mm.
Foliation: Foliated by the cataloguer in pencilled Arabic numerals on the upper-left corners of the a sides.


Primarily quaternions, 1IV(8)1III(14)6IV(78)+1 tipped singleton. Catchwords throughout on the lower-left corners of the b sides.


In fair condition, with historical paper repairs applied the gutters and fore-edges, moderate insect damage, especially in the gutters of folios 25–31. Extensive adhesive tipped in the gutters when repaired restricts the opening of the folios.


Single column, with 11 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


Copied in a clear nasta‘līq script in black ink, with verse markers and subheaders marked in red.


Illuminated headpiece on folio 1b, rendered in blue, orange, pink, green, and gold. Marginal ruling throughout, with a wide rule painted in pale ochre imitating gold outlined on both sides with a thin black single line on the inside bordered by a thin red line, and thin double lines on the outer side, surrounded by a single blueline. Another single blue line surrounds the perimeters of the pages that appear occasionally trimmed.

Contains numerous paintings of various animals, both real and mythological, throughout.

  • Inscription: Right flyleaf (f. ia)
  • Notes: Folio 1a bears several notations, with the number ‘79’ at top, followed by the title, Risālah dar Ṣaydīyah, then incorrectly states that it has 72 folios, followed by prices in Indian raqam notations.
  • Bookplates: left paste-down, ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with shelf mark ‘F/6’, and ‘Hamilton MSS No. 527’.


Sewn on a single flat support in the centre, put down with a cloth hinge onto the pasteboards. Textblock edges spattered in fine powder blue with European-style decorative front-bead endbands worked over a single-cord core with white and silver threads. Covered in a hybrid British-Indian style binding in full, tight backed, red goatskin leather, with squares at the edges, with back-cornered and defined joints. Endpapers of pale yellow, unwatermarked European machine-made wove paper. The stitching of the wove screen evident on the foredge of theright flyleaf

Boards decorated with blind stamped silver paper onlays (now darkly tarnished), with a scalloped central mandorla with a quintafoil surrounded by leaves, detached quatrefoil floral pendants, floral scrollwork scalloped corners, and a wide scrolling palmette band framing the perimeters of the boards. Yellow ruled single and double lines criss-cross the central decoration and border the centre, connect the corners, and outline the surrounding border.

235 × 159 × 17 mm.

In good condition.


Origin: Probably India; undated, but given extensive repairs, likely 18th-century.

Provenance and Acquisition

Subsequently acquired in India by Colonel George William Hamilton (1807-1868) who served in India from 1823 to 1867, latterly as Commissioner in Delhi. He obtained over a thousand Indian and Persian manuscripts from which the British Museum selected 352 volumes 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) in 1901 from James Ludovic Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford (1847–1913).

Bequeathed by Enriqueta Rylands in 1908 to the John Rylands Library.

Record Sources

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 by Jake Benson in 2021 with reference to the volume.


The manuscript is available for consultation by any accredited reader, see Becoming a Reader for details. Please contact uml.special-collections@manchester.ac.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript.

Digital Images

Manchester Digital Collections (full digital facsimile)


    A. J. Arberry, A Second Supplementary Handlist of the Muhammadan Manuscripts in the University and Colleges of Cambridge, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1952), p. 68, no. 413 [Or. 1635].
    E. G. Browne, A Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts in the Library of the University of Cambridge, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1896), p. 52, no. 199 [King's no. 199].
    Vladimir Ivanow, Concise Descriptive Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts in the Curzon Collection (Calcutta: Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1926), p. 425, nos. 610–11 [I 439 and I 93].
    D. N. Marshall, Mughals in India: A Bibliographical Survey. Vol. 1. Manuscripts (Bombay: Asia Publishing House, 1962), p. 184, no. 629, ix.
    E. H. Palmer, Catalogue of the Oriental Manuscripts in the Library of King's College (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1867), p. 14, no. 199 [King's no. 199].
    C. Rieu, Catalogue of the Persian manuscripts in the British Museum, Vol. II (London: British Museum, 1881), p. 483 [BL Add. 23562].

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation and The John Rylands Research Institute


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