Isl. Ms. 822


[ʻAjāʼib al-makhlūqāt wa-gharāʼib al-mawjūdāt,18th century?].[عجائب المخلوقات وغرائب الموجودات,قرن 18م؟].


Qazwīnī, Zakarīyā ibn Muḥammad,1208 or 9-1283 or 4.قزويني، زكريا بن محمد.

Place/Date of Production:



97 leaves :paper ;290 x 175 (218 x 103) mm.


Fine though incomplete copy of a Persian rendering of al-Qazwīnī's (d.1283) famous cosmography ʻAjāʼib al-makhlūqāt wa-gharāʼib al-mawjūdāt, illustrated with roughly 25 miniatures and 16 diagrams.

Other Title(s):

ʻAjāʼib al-makhlūqāt.Persianعجائب المخلوقات.Persian.


Cosmography--Early works to 1800.
Geography, Arab--Early works to 1800.
Science--Islamic Empire--History--Sources.
Manuscripts, Persian--Michigan--Ann Arbor.


Headpieces (layout features)18th century.




Ms. codex.
Title supplied by cataloguer.


"العظمة لك والكبرياى جلالك اللهم يا قايم الذات ومفيض الخيرات واجب الوجود وواهب العقول ... اما بعد هميگويد اصغر العباد زكريا محمد بن محمود الكموي القزوينى ... که چون بحکم الهی مفارقت اهل و وطن اتفاق افتاد ..."


Can you help transcribe the explicit? Please comment!


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:

IV+1 (9), IV-2 (15), IV (23), V (33), III (39), IV-1 (46), 4 IV(78), IV+1 (87), V (97) ; catchwords present ; pagination in pencil, Western numerals, supplied during digitization.


Written mainly in 21 lines per page ; frame-ruled.


Nastaʻlīq ; careful Indian hand in a medium to bold line ; serifless, with marked effect of words descending to baseline, some elongation and contrasting thickness of horizontal strokes.


Illuminated headpiece (ʻunwān / sarlawḥ) at opening on p.2 consisting of rectangular band of swirling vegetal decoration with floral motifs in lavender, red and green on a gold ground, surmounted by rectangular piece with cartouches carrying the basmalah, etc. ("بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم رب يسر وتمم بالخير"), all surmounted by scalloped w-shaped piece filled with floral vegetal decorations in white, green, red, pink, etc. on grounds of dark blue and gold ; written area of incipit and facing page set off by interlinear gold bands (reminiscent of cloud-bands) and surrounded by frame in gold, red, blue and black rules ; elsewhere triple rule-border in red and blue with outermost blue rule defining margins ; keywords and headings rubricated, others overlined in red ; roughly 16 diagrams (see pp.18, 20-22, 134-135, 137-138, 142, 158-161) mainly executed in black and red or yellow ink ; roughly 25 illustrations or miniatures, none full-page (see pp.21-22, 46-48, 50-51, 58, 125-130, 164-168, 178) ; in p.78 lacuna left for illustration never supplied.


non-European (likely Persian or Indian) laid paper with roughly 8 laid lines per cm. (vertical or horizontal, varies, curving and sagging) and no obvious chain lines visible ; quite thin, crisp and transluscent though sturdy, dark cream in color, well-burnished ; losses, tears, staining, etc.


Unbound gatherings once sewn in yellow thread, two stations (now mostly gone) ; scrap from a Turkish newspaper apparently once wrapped around spine ; in somewhat poor condition with tears and staining, lifting and losses of paper, etc. ; housed in wrapper and envelope for protection.

Former Shelfmarks:

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


Lacks dated colophon ; likely of Northern Indian production, perhaps 18th century.

Ownership and History:

Two oval seal impressions (only partially legible) on 'title page' (p.1), one apparently in name of a Muḥammad Ṣādiq (محمد صادق) ; a few notabilia and marginal corrections, some appearing to pertain to the rubrics (see pp.165, 166, etc.) ; text to be entered in red ink provided in margins (cut off in several places but occasionally visible).

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):

Meyerhof, Max, 1874-1945, former owner.

In Collection:

Tracy W. McGregor Collection of Arabic, Persian, and Turkish Mathematical and Astronomical Manuscripts.


Brockelmann, C. GAL,I 481 ; S I 882Storey,II / 1, 125-126Badiee, J. A., An Islamic cosmography: the illustrations of the Sarre al-Qazwīnī.PhD dissertation, University of Michigan, 1978.Moor, Bilha and E. A. Rezvan, "Al-Qazwīnī's ʻAjāʼib al-makhlūqāt wa gharāʼib al-mawjūdāt: Manuscrit D 370,"Manuscripta Orientalia, 8, no. iv (2002), pp. 38-68Rührdanz, Karin, "Illustrated Persian ʻAjāʼib al-makhlūqāt manuscripts and their function in early modern times," In Society and culture in the early modern Middle East: studies on Iran in the Safavid period. Ed. Andrew J.Newman (Leiden, 2003):33-47.University of Michigan Library. Manuscripts & papyri : an exhibition arranged for the XXVII International Congress of Orientalists, Ann Arbor, Michigan, August 13-19, 1967. (Ann Arbor, MI [?], 1967),no.48, p.13Islamic art from Michigan collections. Carol G. Fisher and Alan Fisher, Eds. (East Lansing, MI, 1982),no.59, pp.102-3

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Posted by evyn on October 27, 2010
Tags: Fully Catalogued, Persian MSS, Tracy W. McGregor Collection

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