Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 611 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts

Two works, both entitled Risālah-'i Tīrandāzī (Treatise on Archery), completed in 1090 AH (1679 CE).


Summary of Contents: The author of the first text comprising the bulk of the volume, recorded here as Muḥammad ‘Arif Sayyid although better known as Muḥammad Budah-'i (and also variously as Sayyid Mīr ʻAlavī). He dedicated the treatise to his patron, the Sultan of Bengal, Sayyid ʻAlāʼ al-Dīn Ḥusayn, (r. 1494–1519), the founder of the Ḥusayn Shāhī dynasty. A comparatively very brief text on the same topic follows, the author here identified as Malik Nishāpūrī, possibly the same as one Mīr Muḥammad Nīshāpūrī, who composed a longer work entitled Qawsnāmah (Book of the Bow), from which this text may be abridged or excerpted. After completion of the manuscript in 1090 AH (1679–80 CE), it later entered the library of the Kings of Awadh Amjad ‘Alī Shāh (r. 1842–1847) and Wājid ‘Alī Shāh (r. 1847–1856).
1. Folios 1b to 65b
Incipit: (basmalla) برگ ۱پ (folio 1b): حمد و ثنا مر خدایرا جل و علا آن توانای که پر چرخ اعلا همیشه در قضیهٔ قدرت ولای او خمیده چون کمان در کشش زه از تقدیر محکم اوست.
Explicit: برگ ۶۵پ (folio 65b): بمالد دو سه روز نشوید تا آنزمان خله بکلی رود صلا کمانرا نکشد تا خله زیاده نشود
Colophon: برگ ۶۵پ (folio 65b): تمت تمام هذا الرساله بعون الملک الوهاب.
Language(s): Persian

Note that Michael Kerney previously misidentified the author as ‘Muḥammad Sayyid Mīr of Malwa’ in the Biblioteca Lindesiana handlist.


‘Abd al-Muqtadir Catalogue of the Arabic and Persian Manuscripts in the Oriental Public Library at (Bankipore) Patna. Vol. IX. (Calcutta: Baptist Mission Press, 1927), p. 85, no. 1075.
H. Ethé, Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts in the Library of the India Office, Vol. I (Oxford: Printed for the India Office by H. Hart, 1903), col. 1496, nos. 2768–69.
G. M. Meredith-Owens. Handlist of Persian Manuscripts, 1895-1966. ([London]: The Trustees of the British Museum, 1968), p. 33.
Charles Rieu, Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts in the British Museum, Vol. II. (London: British Museum, 1879), pp. 488–89 [Add. 26,306, Egerton 1031].
C. A. Storey, Persian Literature: A Bio-bibliographical Survey, Vol. 2, Pt. 3 (London: Luzac & Co., 1939), p. 378, no. 636.
M. I. Waley, Supplementary Handlist of Persian Manuscripts in the British Library: 1966-1998, (London: British Library, 1998), p. 34 [Or. 14143].
2. Folios 65b to 67b
Incipit: (basmalla) برگ ۶۵پ (folio 65b): ...ملک نیشاپوری گوید که من زا ⟨؟⟩ خود شنیدم که تیرانداز را از دوازده مسئله‌ چاره نیست و هر که نداند بر و حرام است دوازده مسئله اینست از آنجمله که سه چیز سخت باید گرفت.
Explicit: برگ ۶۷پ (folio 67b): ...تا هر میان جنگ نیار سعی بهانه ز ⟨؟⟩
Colophon: برگ ۶۷پ (folio 67b): تمت تمام شد هر دو رساله در علم تیراندازی بعون الله تعالی سنه ۱۰۹۰.
Language(s): Persian


H. Ethé, Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts in the Library of the India Office, Vol. I (Oxford: Printed for the India Office by H. Hart, 1903), col. 1498, no. 2773.
V. A. Ivanov, Concise Descriptive Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts in the Collection of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, (Calcutta: Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1924), p. 744 no. 1609.
D. N. Marshall, Mughamls in India: A Bibliographical Survey. Vol. 1. Manuscripts (Bombay: Asia Publishing House, 1962), p. 293, no. 1061.
Charles Rieu, Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts in the British Museum, Vol. II. (London: British Museum, 1879), p. 796 [Add. 5629].
Eduard Sachau and Hermann Ethé, Catalogue of the Persian, Turkish, Hindûstani, and Pushtû manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Vol. I. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1889), col. 1085, no. 1887.
C. A. Storey, Persian Literature: A Bio-bibliographical Survey, Vol. 2, Pt. 3 (London: Luzac & Co., 1939), p. 382, no. 643 Appendix (19).

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Thin sized, and polished laid paper, probably handmade in with extensive remargining.
Extent: 67 folios (i + 67 + i)
Dimensions (leaf): 222 × 130 mm.
Dimensions (written): 189 × 86 mm.
Foliation: Foliated in Hindu-Arabic numerals at the top of most folios in black.
Foliation: Pencilled Arabic numerals follow a different order. Note that this record follows the original Hindu-Arabic numerals.


Quinions throughout, 8V(67). Catchwords throughout on the b sides.


In poor condition. Handle with caution. Extensive insect damage and historical repairs throughout, with most folios remargined. Folios 15b and 16a tipped together in the gutter margin when repaired.


Single column, 15 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


Copied in nasta‘līq script in black with red for the subheadings.

  • Occasional marginalia written in a shikastah hand in black.
  • The right cover exterior inscribed with ‘No.55’ and ‘1957’ in Persian.
  • The first right flyleaf a side (f. ia) bears the titles and authors of the two works, written in clear nasta‘liq, likely in the hand of Muhīn Dās, assistant to former owner George William Hamilton
  • Folio 1a:
    • Top: A partially legible note names the titles and possible name of a former owner or associate Almās ‘Alī Khān Naqvī and partial date ‘24 Rajab’ written in shikastah sccript.
    • Bottom-left: A second partially legible note below an obliterated, black oval seal impression names another former ownerShams al-D⟨īn(?)⟩ or ...D⟨awla(?)⟩, obscured by repair.
  • Folio 1b bears an obliterated ownership note above the header.
  • Left paste-down ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ bookplate with shelf mark ‘1/H’ and ‘Hamilton MSS No. 528’.


Probably rebound in a hybrid British-Indian style for former owner George William Hamilton between 1858 and 1866. Resewn after repairs, edges trimmed, with European-style decorative front-bead endbands sewn in red and natural linen threads at head and tail. Bound tight-backed in full red goatskin leather, over pasteboards, without a flap (type III binidng per Déroche), and squares along the edges and defined exterior joints.

Boards decorated with paper onlays for the central mandorla, detached pendants, and corners, connected with criss-crossed single yellow rule, and bounded by yellow double ruling on the board margins. Papers labels with the Persian title ‘Risālah-'i Tīrandāzī’ applied to the spine and right cover exterior.

230 × 139 × 23 mm.

Handle with caution. In fair condition, extensive abrasion on the board edges and spine. restricted opening in the gutter margins.


Library several small obliterated seals of former owners impressed in black, along with those of the Kings of Awadh Amjad ‘Alī Shāh (b. 1801 r. 1842–1847) and Wājid ‘Alī Shāh (b. 1822, r. 1847–1856), intaglio-carved in nasta‘līq script in two stacked lines, and impressed in vermillion on folios 1a and and 67b:

  • 1: Rectangular seal impression surmounted by the royal emblem of Awadh, of Amjad ‘Alī Shāh (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’).

    53 × 45 mm.

  • 2: Rectangular seal impression surmounted by the royal emblem Awadh, of Wājid ‘Alī Shāh (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’).

    41 × 26 mm.


Origin: Possibly India; 1090 AH (1679–80 CE)

Provenance and Acquisition

Formerly 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 Amjad ‘Alī Shāh (b. 1801, r. 1842–1847) and Wājid ‘Alī Shāh (b. 1822, r. 1847–1856). Presumably looted during India's First War of Independence, when British soldiers ransacked the Kaisarbagh 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.

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 in hand.


To book an in-person or online appointment to consult the manuscript, visit Using the Special Collections Reading Rooms. For any other enquiries please email uml.special-collections@manchester.ac.uk.

Digital Images

Manchester Digital Collections (full digital facsimile)


    Bede Dwyer and Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani, "An Analysis of a Persian Archery manuscript written by Kapur Čand." Revista de Artes Marciales Asiáticas. Vol. 8, No. 1. (April 2013): pp. 1–12.
    Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani, Persian Archery and Swordsmanship: Historical Martial Arts of Iran. Frankfurt: Niloufar, 2013.
    W. F. Paterson, "Archery in Moghul India: An Illustrated Manuscript in the Collection of the Marquess of Bute." Islamic Quarterly. Vol. 16, No. 1. (Jan. 1972): pp. 81–95.

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation

The John Rylands Research Institute


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