Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 734 (The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts

Contents

Summary of Contents: This incomplete manuscript entitled Bāznāmah (Book on Falconry) by an unknown author, opens with a lengthy section on the ailments of various birds of prey followed by various prescriptions for their treatment. A second section concerns hawks that hunt deer, while the final incomplete section concerns crane-hunting harrier falcons. Previously owned by prominent Indian collector and Governor of Kashmir Nawwāb Mu‘izz al-Dawlah Shīr Jang (fl. mid-18th century).
Author: Anonymous
Title: Bāznāmah
Incipit: (basmalla) برگ ۱پ (folio 1b): طریقهٔ شناخت امراض قوش و معالجات آن از اداوی و غیره: مخفی نماند که چون نسحه بند ترکیب عناصر طباع انسان و حیوان و طبیب حاذق حکمت بالغهٔ شناس وجود...
Explicit: برگ ۴۱پ (folio 41b): ...در بالای آن بیدارند تا سه یوم چنین کنند و بعد از آن با مرس بار یک که بقدر دو سه ذرغ باشد از سوراخ دماغ کلنگ پرون نمایند و یک ⟨؟⟩ آنرا کرهی نمود که پرون نیابد از قبیل مها شتر و این طریق را بدستور قوشچیان مهارکش نامند و باز کوشت درشت کلنگ
Colophon: Colophon missing.
Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Thin ivory-coloured, laid handmade paper, sized and highly polished, ~1.5 mm between laid lines, no observable chain lines, possibly handmade in the handmade in the Indian subcontinent.
Extent: 41 folios (ff. ii + 41 + ii).
Dimensions (leaf): 167 × 108 mm.
Dimensions (written): 127 × 55 mm.
Foliation: Foliated in pencilled Arabic numerals on the upper-left corners of the a sides.

Collation

Variant collation throughout: 1IV(8)1V(17)1III(24)1V(33)1IV(40)+1 (plus one tipped singleton).Catchwords evident on the b sides where the pages have not been repaired.

Condition

Handle with caution. In fair condition, with extensive moderate insect damage and historical paper repairs applied the margins gutters and pages, especially in the gutters of folios 25–31.

Layout

Written in 1 column with 7 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.

Hand(s)

Written a very clear naskh script in black with subheaders and lines above the beginning of the sentences marked in red in rayhani script.

Additions: Inscription:
  • The second right flyeleaf (f. iia) bears the title.
  • Folio 1a at top stating ‘Nīyāz-i Nawwāb Shīr Jang’ (Gift of Nawwāb Shīr Jang) to the left of his seal impression, and then underneath a note dated 22 Ṣafar year 1 (1168 AH, 18 Nov. 1754 CE) during the first year of the reign of the Mughal ruler Emperor ‘Ālamgīr II (b. 1699, r. 1754-1759). (See F. Richard catalogue for Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Suppl. Pers. 505, f. 1a).
  • Notation underneath in a smaller hand dated 14 Sha‘bān year 1 (1131 AH, 2 July, 1719) in in Lucknow, during the very brief reign of Shāh Jahān II.
  • Centre:Inspection notice underneath by Muḥammad Bayg year 1231 AH (1815–16 CE).
  • Bottom:diagonal notation ‘Entered on 18 Rabī al-Awwal year 1197 AH (21 Feb. 1783 CE)
  • Notation possibly dated 22(?) Rabī‘ I 1182 AH (6 Aug. 1768 CE).
Bookplates:
  • left paste-down, ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with shelf mark ‘2/K’, and ‘Hamilton MSS No. 651’.

Binding

Evidently rebound for former owner Colonel George William Hamilton (1807-1868), probably in Multan between 1858 to 1863. Unsupported sewing at two stations, 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 over pasteboards, with squares and defined exterior joints. Internal doublures of the same red leather, with the hinge put down on the second and second to last flyleaves, of unpolished, comparatively heaviver paper manufactured in India, with strips of paper with serrated, zig-zag cuts on one side adhered over leather hinges to disguise the joins.

Boards decorated with parallel double ruling lines in yellow, one about 10 mm in from the edges and the other surrounding perimeters of the boards. Titled Bāznāmah in Persian written in yellow nasta‘līq on the spine.

173 × 111 × 8 mm.

In fair condition. Tightly bound, opening restricted, due to extensive adhesive tipped in the gutters.

Seal(s):

Seal impressions apparently cut out from the original flyleaves and pasted onto folios 1a and 41b when subsequent owner Colonel George William Hamilton (1807-1868) had the volume restored and rebound.

  • 1: Rectangular seal impression ofthe library of of the King of Awadh (Oude), Nāṣir al-Dīn Ḥaydar Shāh (b. 1803 r. 1827–1837) dated AH 1244 (1828–29 CE), intaglio-carved in nasta‘līq script in two stacked lines and impressed in vermillion ink, and inscribed with his title Sulaymān Jāh:

    ‘ خوش است مهر کتبخانه سلیمان جاه * بهر کتاب مزین چو نقش بسم الله، ١٢۴۴’

    Khvush ast muhur-i kitābkhānah-'i Sulaymān Jāh bahr-i kitāb; muzayyin chaw naqsh-i basmallah, 1244’ (‘The seal of the library of Sulaymān Jāh is good; it embellishes the book like the design of a basmallah, 1244’).

    17 × 37 mm.

  • 2: At top, a rectanglular seal of former owner Mu‘izz al-Dawlah Bahādur Shīr Jang intaglio-carved in nasta‘līq script in three stacked lines, single-ruled, and impressed in black ink.

    11 × 16 mm.

  • 2:At bottom, a partially diagonally, impressed, rectanglular seal intaglio-carved in nasta‘līq script in three stacked lines, single-ruled, and impressed in black ink possibly dated 1152 AH (1739–40 CE).

    9 × 14 mm.

History

Origin: Possibly India; undated, but possibly early century

Provenance and Acquisition

Subsequently acquired by various owners, probably in Lucknow, as attested by a notation and an unidentified seal impression dated 1152 AH (1739–40 CE), but then ultimately acquired by the prominent Indian collector and Governor of Kashmir, Nawwāb Mu‘izz al-Dawlah Shīr Jang (fl. mid-18th century), a cousin of the Nawwāb of Awadh Shuja‘ al-Dawlah (b. 1732, r. 1754–1775), as attested by his seal impression and notation matching other volumes that French military figure Jean Baptiste-Jospeh Gentil (1726–1799) obtained from his collection, now held in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France

However, this volume evidently returned to or remained in Lucknow given the seal impression the King of Awadh (Oude), Nāṣir al-Dīn Ḥaydar Shāh (b. 1803 r. 1827–1837), and notations consistent with other volumes from the royal library (e.g. Persian MS 612, 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) 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.

Availability

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)

Bibliography

    Francis Richard, Catalogue des manuscrits persans, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des manuscrits. Tome II. Catalogue Des Manuscrits Persans: Le Supplément persan (Rome: Istituto per l’Oriente C.A. Nallino, 2009), pp. 523–24.
    Francis Richard, 'Jean-Baptiste Gentil, collectionneur de manuscrits persans', Dix-Huitième Siècle, No. 28 (1996): pp. 91–110.
    C. A. Storey, Persian Literature: A Bio-bibliographical Survey, Vol. 2, Pt. 3 (London: Luzac & Co.1939), pp. 635–39.

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation and The John Rylands Research Institute


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