Persian MS 90 (The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester)
A collection of two titles on different subjects, the Bahāristān (Spring Garden) by ‘Abd al-Raḥman Jāmī (1414-1492) and a compilation of missives entitled Ramz va Īshārah-'i ʻĀlamgīrī (Intimations and Allusions of ‘Ālamgīr), both copied by the same hand, likely in Nothern India in 29 Ramażān 1201 AH (29 July 1787 CE).
The textblock is comprised of two types of English handmade papers. The first text is on handmade paperbearing the Britannia watermark surmounted by a crown countermarked 1801 also surmounted by a crown, with chain lines 22 mm and laid lines 1mm apart. The second work is copied on sheets bearing the watermark Budgen1799 of Kent papermaker Thomas Budgen with chain lines 13 mm and laid lines 1mm apart . The endpapers are of the same paper and were sewn together with the textblock. The right flyleaf was used for the first folio.
Pencilled in Arabic numerals at the top-left corners by the cataloguers.
Good condition, with moderate insect damage. The right flyleaf is missing, and the top of folio 1 is cut out. A blank page between the two works is marked as folio 37.
1 column throughout. Number of lines varies. Ruled impressions from a mistara
Written in a clear nasta‘liq copyist's hand, primarily in black ink with headers, story, and verse markers in red.
- Notation:on right paste-down,'Baharistan no 35'.
- Label:on right board with shelf mark "No. 12"and titles written in Persian on European laid handmade paper: بهارستان جامی رقعات عالمگیری
- Bookplates: left paste-down, 'Bibliotheca Lindesiana' with shelfmark '2/B', 'Bland MSS No. 312'.
Likely bound in India, but in a completely European manner, with single-flexible sewing on five cords laced into the pasteboards, tight-bound in quarter red goatskin leather with British-made spot marbled paper sides, without flap (type III binding per Déroche). Single-core frontbead endbands sewn in red and blue. 329 × 206 × 17 mm.
Right paste-down: A small rectangular red wax seal, intaglio-carved in Persian nasta‘liq with the name of John Staples Harriott (1780_1839), and dated 1224 AH (1809–10 CE). The same seal is also impressed upon Persian MS 55, folio 2a and Persian MS 364, folio iia.
Transcription: ات کپتان ۱۲۲۴ جان ستیلس هاری
Transliteration: Jān Staypils Hārī-āt, Kaptān, 1224
12 × 14 mm.
Provenance and Acquisition
Formerly owned by British East India Company interpreter John Staples Harriott (1780–1839), who impressed his red wax seal upon the right paste down. Sold after his death by the Alliance des Arts, Paris on 13–15 April 1843 (likely cat. 148, which only notes the first title, but not the second).
Likely acquired at the sale by scholar Nathaniel Bland (1803-1865), after whose 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