Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 82 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: The first of two volumes of a Persian translation and commentary on the Qur‘ān entitled Mavāhib-i ʻAlīyah (Sublime Talents) or Tafsīr-i Ḥusaynī after its author, Ḥusayn Vāʻiẓ Kāshifī (d. ca. 1505, who completed it between 1492 and 1494. Evidently originally a very large single tome, a former owner split this manuscript into two volumes and had them uniformly rebound, together with Rylands Persian MS 195.
Incipit: (beginning) برگ ۱پ (folio 1b): بعد از تنهید قواعد مواحد الهی و تاسیس مبانی ثنا خخوانی حضرت رسالت پناهی علیه و علی اله و صبحه و صلواه ...
Explicit: برگ ۲۸۲پ (folio 282b): ...الله فیقعد انی یعد(؟) علی العرش و معیته را معنی همان میگویند که عندیته(؟) را در آن ایة که آن الدین عند ربک...
Colophon: No colophon.

The volume abruptly ends on folio 282b with commentary on Qur'an verse 17:79 (مقاماً محموداً).

Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Textblock of medium-weight, sized and polished, straight and cross-grained, buff-coloured paper possibly handmade in the Indian subcontinent with 7 laid lines per cm and no discernible chain lines. Folios 1 to 4 replaced with comparatively thin, cross-grained, buff-coloured, heavily flocked stock, with ~10 laid lines per cm and no discernible chain lines, also likely handmade in the Indian subcontinent.
Extent: 282 leaves, 5 flyleaves (ii + 282 + iii.
Dimensions (leaf): 274 × 200 mm.
Dimensions (written): 200 × 115 mm.
Foliation: Original Hindu-Arabic numeral only appear on folios 4 to 21 only. Partly foliated in modern pencilled Arabic numerals on the upper-right corners of every ten pages on the a sides.


Undertermined. Catchwords throughout on the lower-left corners of the b sides throughout.


Handle with caution. Extensive water and insect damage and historical repairs throughout..


Written in 1 column with 27 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


Written in clear black naskh with quotations from Qur'an verses in red.


Illumination: Folio 1b bears a recycled rectangular headpiece with uninscribed gilt central cartouche set within palmette foliate scrollwork on an ultramarine ground, with vertical radiating lines added when restored.

Ruling: Folios 1b and 2a ruled in gold outlined with thin black lines, and surrounded by another single line. The margins of folios 2b to 4b onwards ruled with double red lines surrounded by a single black line, and thereafter comparatively thin double red lines surrounded by single ultramarine lines on the original portion of the manuscript.

Marginalia: Notes in various hands in the margins throughout.
  • The right pastedown bears a price of ‘£2 2 6’ at top.
  • The first right flyleaf a side (f. ia) bears an unidentified catalogue number ‘4353’.
  • The third right flyleaf b side (f. iiib) bears the transliterated title and author's name and ‘Nº 62’in the hand of former owner Sir Gore Ouseley, which albeit unsigned, not only comports with his hand as found in other volumes. A pencilled note in the hand of subsequent owner Nathaniel Bland confirms this attribution.
Bookplates and Catalogue Entry:
  • The right pastedown bears a pasted unidentified catalogue sale entry:
  • The left pastedown: ‘Bibilotheca Lindesiana’ with shelf mark ‘2/D’ and ‘Bland MSS No. 304’.


Probably split and uniformly rebound in two volumes in a hybrid British-Indian style, but in the Indian subcontinent for former owner Sir Gore Ouseley.

Resewn on six raised cords, with two laced into pasteboards. Endpapers medium-weight, straight-grained sized and polished straw-coloured paper, probably handmade in the Indian subcontinent added at the beginning and end, with edges trimmed, and twined chevron endbands worked over round cores at head and tail. Covered in full reverse calfskin leather over raised bands, tight-jointed, and without a flap (type III binding per Déroche).

Coated imitated boarded russia-grained paper labels applied to the spine bears a handwritten nasta‘līq title and volume number.

289 × 216 × 49 mm.

Binding in fair but sound condition, with some abrasion to the edges. Some folios protrude at the fore-edge.


Origin: Possibly completed in the Indian subcontinent; undated, but possibly 17th century.

Provenance and Acquisition

The hybrid style of rebinding suggests that former owner Sir Gore Ouseley (1770–1844) probably acquired the volume in the Indian subcontinent.

Subsequently obtained by scholar Nathaniel Bland (1803–1865) for his library at Randalls Park, Leatherhead. After his death, London bookseller Bernard Quaritch (1819–1899) sold his oriental manuscripts to Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880) in 1866, and moved to Bibliotheca Lindesiana at Haigh Hall, Wigan.

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, Manchester.

Record Sources

Bibliographical description based on an index created by Reza Navabpour circa 1993, derived from a manuscript catalogue by Michael Kerney, circa 1890s, concisely published as 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.


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.


Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation

The John Rylands Research Institute


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