Persian MS 68 (The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester)
Completed by ‘Alī bin Abī Bakr al-Khatīr at the end of end of Sha‘bān year 616 AH (Beginning of November, 1219 CE). Note that only two earlier manuscripts are known, both held in Turkish libraries: One dated Muḥarram 27, 551 AH (March 22, 1156–1157 CE) is held in Istanbul, Süleymaniye Kütüphanesi, Cârullah Efendi, 1727 (See Hamdani, p. 564), and another dated 594 AH (1197–1198 CE) in Ankara, Millet Kütüphanesi, 06 Hk 111 (See Minovi ed., Intro. pp. yā–tā)
Foliation pencilled at top-left of the a sides in Arabic numerals by the cataloguer.
Written in 1 column with 21 lines per page. Ruled with a miṣṭārāh.
Primarily copied in a medieval naskh hand in sepia-toned ink.
Replacement folios copied in a later naskh hand written with a thinner pen and slightly smaller hand in imitation of the original copyist.
- Inscriptions: Folio 1a is inscribed with unidentified Persian couplets in a medieval naskh hand.
- Sketch: On the last right flyleaf is a pencilled sketch of pineapple leaves, with the word 'ānānās' in Persian.
- Astrology chart: On 188b is an astrology chart that mentions a Rumī date of 1495, so likely completing during Beyazid II's reign.
- Bookplates: On the left paste-down: Bibliotheca Lindesiana with shelfmark F/6, Bland MSS No. 290, and Jh. Mie Jouannin, with the latter found again on folio 1a.
Rebound in circa 1810 in the 'Empire' style, in a hollow-backed, full sprinkled calfskin leather binding for former owner, French orientalist Joseph Marie Jouannin (1783–1844), as indicated by his initials 'J. M. J.' lettered at the tail of the spine. Gilt triple-fillet margins on the boards, zigzag designs on the board edges, and headcaps with a thick-and-thin line decorative palette. The spine bears gilt single fillet panels with arc-and-dart and lotus bands at tail. French-style decorative single-core endbands sewn in white, green, and russet silk threads. Endpapers of brown 'shell' patterned French marbled papers, unusually executed over yellow paper. Flyleaves stiff-leaved to outer folio of two quaternions of modern blank wove papersewn onto the right and left of the original text block when rebound, that bear the watermark 'Imperial' with trés lunes (three-crescent) and shield possibly bearing a crescent moon insignia.
235 × 158 × 43 mm.
Seals of various owners
- Last right endleaf (folio xvib): Undated oval seal, possibly 17th century, of one Gul Muḥammad, intaglio carved in a single line of nasta‘liq script:
العبد الراجي گل محمد
Transliteration: al-‘Abd al-Rājī Gul Muḥammad
14 × 21 mm.
- Folio 1a: partially-obliterated marquise-shaped intaglio-carved seal bearing the imperial tughra of the Ottoman ruler Sultan Beyazid II (1447–1512, r. 1481–1512).
13.5 × 21 mm.
- 3: First left flyleaf (folio xviia): partially-legible ovoid seal of one ‘Abbās ‘Alī is impressed upon a later endpaper.
10 × 16 mm.
Provenance and Acquisition
Formerly owned by Sultan Beyazid II as per his seal impression on folio 1a. Subsequently owned by one Gul Muḥammad and ‘Abbās ‘Alī as per their seal impressions on the last right (folio xvia) and first left (folio xviia) flyleaves. Later acquired by dragoman Joseph-Marie Jouannin (1783–1844), likely during his tenure in Istanbul. The Empire style binding bearing both his initials on the spine and his bookplates indicate that he had the volume rebound in Paris but later gave it to his friend and fellow scholar Antoine-Isaac Silvestre de Sacy, (1758–1838). After de Sacy's death, his oriental manuscripts were sold in Paris in 1843, (see Bibliothèque, Vol. III, Appendix, no. 287), where it was likely purchased by Persian scholar Nathaniel Bland (1803–1865). After Bland's death his oriental manuscripts were sold through 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 (1843–1908) in 1908 to the John Rylands Library.
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. 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