Isl. Ms. 338


Dīvān-i ʻUrfī,[1029, i.e. 1620].دیوان عرفی,[1029ه، 1620م].


ʻUrfī Shīrāzī, Muḥammad,1555 or 6-1590 or 91.عرفى شيرازى, محمد.

Place/Date of Production:



328 leaves :paper ;238 x 139 (164 x 72) mm.


Exquisite (though damaged) copy of the Dīvān of ʻUrfī Shīrāzī (d.1590 or 91).

Other Title(s):

ديوان عرفى


Persian poetry--1500-1796.
Manuscripts, Persian--Michigan--Ann Arbor.


Headpieces (layout features)16th century.




Ms. codex.
Title from inscription on 'title page' (p.1).


[dībāchah] " حمدی که از نهایت شایستگی منزه از شایبه معین و تخصیص آمده اجمال آن ..." ; [dīvān, opening in the qaṣīdahs] "ای متاع درد در بازار جان انداخته ای متاع ..."


Can you help transcribe the explicit? Please comment!


"تمت القصايد العرفيه تحريرا بتاريخ شهر ذى قعده سنه ١٠٢٨ كتبه الداعى عبد الغنى بكرى [؟] اللهم اغفر [له] ولوالديه" ; "تمت فى تاريخ شهر صفر سنه ١٠٢٩ كتبه الداعى عبد الغنى"


Can you help transcribe the dedication? Please comment!


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

Physical Details:

IV (8), I (10), 4 IV(42), III (48), 2 IV(64), III (70), 4 IV(102), 2 III(114), IV (122), III (128), IV (136), III (142), IV (122), III (128), IV (136), III (142), 3 IV(166), III (172), IV (180), I+1 (183), 4 IV(215), III (221), IV (229), II (233), III (239), 6 IV(287), III (293), 3 IV(317), V+1 (328) ; leaves between dībāchah and opening of dīvān left blank (pp.20-21) as well as between later sections (see pp.228-229, 332-333, 366-367) ; pp.295, 209, 351 left partially blank (perhaps for illustration never realized) ;catchwords present ; pagination in pencil, Western numerals, supplied during digitization.


Written in 15 lines per page, mainly divided to two columns ; frame-ruled.


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


Exquisite illuminated headpiece (ʻunwān / sarlawḥ) at opening of dībāchah on p.2 consisting of rectangular piece with gold cartouche carrying the title for the opening section (preface) in white ("ديباچه ديوان عرفي") flanked by elegant floral vegetal motifs in red, white, yellow, pink, lavender, and turquoise on fields of lapis lazuli and black, surmounted by a large (vertically elongated) w-shaped piece filled with superbly executed swirling floral vegetal decoration in gold, red, pink, lavender, yellow, turquoise, white, and light blue on fields of lapis lazuli and gold, entire piece set into an elaborate well of red, blue, gold, white, and turquoise bands ; another exquisite illuminated headpiece at the opening of the dīvān proper (begins with the qaṣīdahs) on p.22 similar in composition to the first but with vertically elongated scalloped semi-circular piece (dome) surmounting rectangular piece, more generous use of white and turquoise, well of heavy gold interlace with turquoise and lavender accents, and vertical stalks (tīgh) in tact ; written area of dībāchah incipit and facing page surrounded by a frame consisting of a series of red, gold, black and blue fillets, with text set off by gold cloud-bands ; written area elsewhere gold-flecked and surrounded by frame in gold with outermost blue rule ; additional illuminated headpieces appear at openings of sections on p.202, 230, 334, 368.


non-European laid paper with 9-10 laid lines per cm. (vertical, fairly distinct) and occasional pairs of chain lines faintly visible, somewhat cloudy formation, thin though sturdy, beige in color, well-sized and burnished ; some leaves tinted dull yellow or pale peach ; many leaves split and repaired (e.g. written area with headpiece and catchword of incipit page have been trimmed and mounted onto another leaf, etc.).


Pasteboards covered in dark red leather with tan leather over spine and edges / turn-ins (possibly inverted recylcled cover with doublures now out) ; Type III binding (without flap) ; board linings in pink-tinted paper ; upper and lower covers carry central mandorla and pendants in gold-painted leather filigree appliqué over blue and green paper ; now sewn in white thread, two stations ; worked chevron endbands in pink and spring green, fairly good condition ; overall in somewhat poor condition with significant abrasion, lifting and losses of leather, staining, minor pest damage, etc.

Former Shelfmarks:

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


As appears in inscription on 'title page' (p.1) and in colophons on p.201 and 331, copied by one ʻAbd al-Ghanī Bakrī [?]. As appears in colophon on p.201, transcription of qaṣāyid completed in Dhū Qaʻdah 1028 [October-November 1619]. As appears in colophon on p.331, transcription of later section completed Ṣafar 1029 [February 1620]. Transcription of other sections likely completed around the same time.

Ownership and History:

Several former owners' marks on 'title page' (p.1), many effaced, including large oval seal impression ; another large oval seal impression on 'title page' of dīvān proper (p.21) and on p.199, 201, 227, 331, 655 appears to be dated 1022 [1613 or 14] in the name of one Khusraw (خسرو), impression at close accompanies ownership statement which reads "قد صار من متملكات العبد الفقير خسرو غفر ذنوبه" ; possible reading / study notice at close on p.655, partially illegible, followed by rectangular seal impression ; several effaced ownership statements on verso of final leaf (p.656).

Contributor(s) / Included work(s):

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


07 ʻAbd al-Ghanī, fl.1620, scribe. 07 عبد الغنى، ناسخ.

Former Owner(s):

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

In Collection:

Abdul Hamid Collection.


Cat. Pers. MSS. Brit. Mus.,p. 667 f.

Images1 2

Posted by evyn on November 30, 2010
Tags: Abdul Hamid Collection, Fully Catalogued, Persian MSS

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