Persian MS 808 (The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester)
Written in 1 column with 25 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.
Written in black nasta'līq with subheaders in red.
Ruling: Marginal ruling thoughout in gold, outlined with thin interior single lines and double exterior lines, then surrounded by comparatively heavier single lines, all in black.
- Former owner Sir Gore Ouseley inscribed his bookplate on the left pastedown ‘To my friend Colonel Fitz Clarence’.
- The right flyleaf b side (f. ib) bears the remnants of printed descriptions of the work, likely entries from the catalogue of oriental manuscripts Royal Asiatic Society by former owner William Hook Morley that describes the contents of this volume, given identifiable portions from the same location in Persian MS 806
- Right pastedown: Sir Gore Ouseley.
- The Left pastedown:
- ‘ِEarl of Munster’
- ‘Col. Fitz Clarence’
- ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ bookplates, with the shelf mark ‘1/D’.
- An earlier Lindesiana label bears a previous class mark, ‘Persian MS 13’ subsequently crossed out.
Abbreviated resewing on five cords, three laced into pasteboard, edges trimmed and finely spattered, with decorative front-bead decorative endbands sewn in blue and white silk threads at head and tail.
Spine fully gilt but differs from Persian MS 807.
316 × 203 × 14 mm.
Handle with caution. Exterior and board edges abraded, and joints cracked. The initial flyleaf appears cut out. Boxed.
Blocked in gold on a skiver leather label adhered to the upper panel of the spine, features a crest with a chapeau turned up ermine a lion statant gardant crowned with a ducal coronet and gorged with a collar charged with three anchors and motto ‘Motto NEC TEMERE NEC TIMIDE’ surmounted by a coronet.
24 × 13 mm.
Provenance and Acquisition
Thereafter presented by Ouseley to his friend George Augustus Frederick FitzClarence, 1st Earl of Munster (1794–1842), as per his inscription on the right pastedown, presumably after the latter attained the rank of colonel when appointed Aide-de-Camp to his father, William IV, King of Great Britain (b. 1765, r. 1830–1837), on 26 Jul. 1830, but prior to his elevation to the peerage on 4 June 1831. At the time, both men actively served in the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland and of the associated Oriental Translation Committee, for which FitzClarence desired to produce a monograph on the history of warfare in the Islamic world.
After FitzClarence's death on 20 Mar. 1842, his eldest son William George FitzClarence, 2nd Earl of Munster (1824–1901) auctioned a portion of his library through one Mr. Wilmot at their home on 13 Upper Belgrave Street, Belgravia, London on 5 April 1843 which omits this title; however, he later sold another portion through Edmund Hodgson on 22 March 1855. The latter sale catalague contains an entry for this work in ‘8 vols., folio, old morocco (2 half-bound)’ which may reference this set (see catalogue). The seller's copy records it sold for £6-12-6; however, it omits the name of the purchaser.
Nevertheless, barrister and orientalist William Hook Morley (1815–1860) evidently acquired these volumes, as after his death, S. Leigh Sotheby & John Wilkinson sold them on 16 March 1861 (p. 66, lot 1035), where bookseller Bernard Quaritch (1819–1899) purchased it for £8 2s 1d.
The very next day, 16 March 1861, Quaritch sold the set to Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880) for £12 12s.
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.
Manuscript description by Jake Benson in 2022 with reference to the volume in hand.
Funding of Cataloguing
Iran Heritage Foundation and The John Rylands Research Institute