Isl. Ms. 273


[Naṣāʼiḥ va ashʻār-i Khvājah ʻAbd Allāh Anṣārī,late 15th or early 16th century?].[نصايح و اشعار خواجه عبد الله انصارى,پايان قرن 15م يا آغاز فرن 16م؟].


Anṣārī al-Harawī, ʻAbd Allāh ibn Muḥammad,1006-1089.انصاري الهروي, عبد الله محمد.

Place/Date of Production:



16 leaves :paper ;232 x 143 (129 x 69) mm. bound to 237 x 143 mm.


Sublime copy of a selection of maxims and verses by Abū Ismāʻī ʻAbd Allāh ibn Muḥammad al-Anṣārī al-Harawī (d.481/1089), attributed to the celebrated Timurid calligrapher Sulṭān ʻAlī Mashhadī (d.926/1520, see p.248 in Bayānī, Aḥvāl va āsār-i khūshʹnavīsān : nastaʻlīq navīsān, vol.1 and pp.30-32 in Soucek, "The Arts of Calligraphy").

Other Title(s):

نصائح و اشعار خواجه عبد الله انصاریپندنامه عبد الله انصاري


Sufism--Prayers and devotions--Persian.
Sufism--Early works to 1800.
Calligraphy, Persian--Specimens.
Writing, Arabic--Specimens.
Islamic calligraphy--Specimens.
Manuscripts, Persian--Michigan--Ann Arbor.


Headpieces (layout features)16th century.




Ms. codex.
Title supplied by cataloguer from opening matter on fol.1b.


"این چند كلمه است از نصايح و اشعار نديم بارگاه حضرت جبارى خواجه عبد الله انصارى عليه الرحمه و المغفره ای ز دردت بيدلانرا بوی در مال آمده ..."


"الهى بحق آنكه ترا حاجت نست رحمت كن برآنكه او را حجت نست تمت الكتاب"


Can you help transcribe the colophon? Please comment!


Can you help transcribe the dedication? Please comment!


Unidentified-Can you help supply this information? Please comment!

Physical Details:

i, 2 III(12), II (16), i ; two ternions and a binion.


Written in 10 lines per page ; frame-ruled.


Nastaʻlīq ; compact, exquisite hand ; serifless, with slight effect of words descending to baseline, closed counters, and elongated horizontal strokes.


Superbly executed illuminated headpiece (ʻunwān / sarlawḥ) at opening consisting of a rectangular piece with gold cartouche surrounded by intricate swirling arabesques with floral motifs in gold, white, red, yellow, green, and pink on a lapis lazuli ground with gold accents all bordered in bands of gold, white, blue, red and heavy gold interlace, surmounted by a band of floral vegetal decoration in gold, white, yellow, pink, and red over alternating eight-pointed stars in turquoise and gold on a black ground, itself surmounted by an triangular piece or hasp filled with further swirling arabesques with floral motifs in gold, white, red, pink, yellow, etc. on a gold ground with lapis lazuli accents, all surmounted by vertical stalks (tīgh) in lapis lazuli ; written area gold-flecked and surrounded by frame consisting of bands of gold, blue, red, and turquoise, divisions within defined by narrow gold bands outlined by black fillets ; rich floral vegetal accents appear occasionally flanking text ; compositions of silhouette paper in some leaves outlined in gold (in lower margin of fol.13a, bird motif in paper, elsewhere enhanced by the illuminator in the same bird theme, has been elaborated as a goat instead).


non-European (Persian) laid paper ; written area mounted in a frame of exquisite silhouette paper (laid with 6 laid lines per cm., chains occasionally visible, sturdy, well-burnished) in two floral compositions, one with floral vegetal motifs only, the other with bird motifs as well ; recto of each framing leaf in pastel blue and verso in pink (quite possibly composite with leaves of two distinct tints affixed to each other).


Pasteboards covered in red leather ; Western style binding (without flap) ; board linings in shell marbled paper (mainly in lavender, pink, and yellow-green) ; upper and lower covers carry gold-painted rules and tooled border in a series of annular stamps ; now sewn in white thread, four stations ; overall in fairly good condition with some staining and minor abrasion though fully detached from text block ; while cover is not sized to be flush with text block, this appears to have been intentional as adhesive paper pattern on interior of spine matches that on spine of text block.

Former Shelfmarks:

"٢١" and "216 T. De M. [i.e. Tammaro De Marinis]" in pencil on front flyleaf.


Lacks dated colophon. According to note on 'title page' (recto of leaf carrying incipit page) executed by the renowned Timurid calligrapher Sulṭān ʻAlī Mashhadī (d.1520). Relatively consistent with his style and thus likely executed late 15th or early 16th century. Mounting and illumination possibly later in the 16th century.

Ownership and History:

Possible ownership statement in a cryptic hand on 'title page' dated 1273 [1856 or 7] ; oval seal impression in name of ḤusaynʻAlī (حسينعلى) on 'title page' dated 1271 or 2 [1854-5 or 1855-6] ; traces of an effaced statement also on 'title page' ; one or two marginal corrections.

Contributor(s) / Included work(s):

Unidentified-Can you help supply this information? Please comment!


Unidentified-Can you help supply this information? Please comment!

Former Owner(s):

Abdülhamid II, Sultan of the Turks, 1842-1918, former owner.

In calligrapher:

05 Mashhadī, Sulṭān ʻAlī, calligrapher, scribe. سلطان علي مشهدي, خطاط, ناسخ.

In Collection:

Abdul Hamid Collection.


Bayānī, Mahdī. Aḥvāl va āsār-i khūshʹnavīsān : nastaʻlīq navīsān. [Tehran] : Dānishgāh-i Tihrān, 1345 [1966],v.1 pp.241-266Soucek, Priscilla. "The Arts of Calligraphy." In The Arts of the book in Central Asia: 14th-16th centuries. Ed. Basil Gray. (Boulder, CO: Shambhala Publications, 1979): 7-34Blair, Sheila. Islamic Calligraphy. (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2006),pp.280-286Gandjeï, T. "Sulṭān Ḥusayn,"EI2.

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Posted by evyn on July 12, 2010
Tags: Abdul Hamid Collection, Fully Catalogued, Persian MSS

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