Isl. Ms. 953


Kitāb Safīnat al-mulk wa-nafīsat al-fulk,[1261, i.e. 1845].كتاب سفينة الملك ونفيسة الفلك,[1261ه، 1845م].


Shihāb al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Ismāʻīl,1795 or 6-1857 or 8.شهاب الدين محمد بن اسماعيل.

Place/Date of Production:



250 leaves :paper ;220 x 160 (155 x 85) mm.


Fine copy of the collection of over 350 song texts (muwashshaḥāt) by Muḥammad Shihāb al-Dīn (d.1857), arranged in larger suites (waṣlāt). Lengthy table of contents at opening outlines the muwashshaḥāt and their corresponding rhythmic types (ḍurūb) within their waṣlāt and musical modes (maqām).

Other Title(s):

Safīnat al-mulk wa-nafīsat al-fulkسفية الملك ونفيسة الفلكEdge title (tail):سفينة الملك


Songs, Arabic.
Folk songs, Arabic--Egypt--19th century.
Manuscripts, Arabic--Michigan--Ann Arbor.




Ms. codex.
Title from 'title page' inscription.


"حمد لمن حكم على اهل الهوى بالنوى والفراق فصاروا بحيث لو صحوا بالحجاز اسمعوا من في العراق ... وبعد فلما ان كانت الارواح تتروح بالطرب واللهو وترتاح لاستماع الاغاني في مجالس الصفو والزهو ... وسميتها سفينة الملك ونفيسة الفلك ورتبتها على ثلاثة انابير صغير ووسط وكبير ..."


"واذا اجرت بالاماني فيه ارخها سفينة البحر بسم الله مجرها


Triangular, reads "وكان الفراغ من نسخ هذه السفينة يوم الثلاث المبارك ثمانية وعشرين خلت من شهر جماد اول الذي هو من شهور سنة ١٢٦١ احدى وستون ومائتين والف من هجرة من له العز والشرف صلى الله عليه وعلى اله تم ١٢٦١ نقلت هذه النسخة عن اصل نسخة المؤلف "


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Physical Details:

V-4+3 (9), III-2 (13), 4 V(53), III (59), 7 V(129), IV (137), 10 V(237), IV (245), IV-3 (250) ; mainly quinions with occasional ternion or quaternion ; catchwords present ; pagination in black ink, Hindu-Arabic numerals ; pagination in pencil, Western numerals, supplied during cataloguing.


Written in 21 lines per page ; frame-ruled (impression of ruling board evident).


Naskh ; two elegant Egyptian hands ; opening hand (through p.118) in a medium line, mainly serifless with effect of tilt to the left, slight effect of words descending to baseline (occasional more exaggerated), curvilinear descenders, pointing in strokes rather than distinct dots, alif maqṣūrah pointed as yāʼ ; other main hand (p.119 to close) in a narrow line, partially seriffed with small leftward serifs on occasional ascender (usually free-standing alif), slight effect of inclination to the left, spacious with some elongation of horizontal strokes, curvilinear descenders, pointing in distinct dots, alif maqṣūrah usually pointed as yāʼ ; text of replacement leaves (pp.85-88, 125-126, 131-132, 203-204) in still a different hand.


Keywords and section headings rubricated ; textual dividers in the form of inverted commas in red.


European (specifically Venetian made by the Galvani firm) laid paper with 7-8 laid lines per cm. (vertical), chain lines spaced 30-32 mm. apart (horizontal), watermark of crescent (with human profile) in shield (pp.30, 32, 36, etc. and compare Walz, The Paper trade of Egypt and the Sudan, 88-9) and countermark of "V G" (see pp.28, 34, 46, etc.), quite sturdy, light cream in color, well-burnished ; table of contents at opening on two different machine wove papers ; replacement leaves (carrying pp.85-88, 125-126, 131-132, 203-204) also in a different paper ; some staining.


Pasteboards faced in purple coated paper (embossed with scrolling vegetal design) with red leather over spine, fore edge flap and edges / turn-ins (paper faced, leather edged framed binding) ; Type II binding (with flap) ; board linings in untinted wove paper ; sewn in heavy white thread, two stations, failing toward center ; worked chevron endbands in dark blue and cream, fairly good condition though primaries compromised and core coming away from tailband ; overall in somewhat poor condition with cover almost fully detached at spine (adhesive has failed and spine lining has torn where primaries sewn through), abrasion, staining, losses of paper, minor pest damage, etc.

Former Shelfmarks:

Mich. Isl. Ms. temp. no. 102


As appears in colophon at close, transcription completed 28 Jumādá I 1261 [ca. 4 June 1845] with a note indicating that the exemplar for this copy was a manuscript of the author. A gloss in the margin adjacent to the colophon appears to be dated, indicating that the gloss was entered 18 Shawwāl 1306, corresponding to 15 Buʼūnah 1605 and 16 June 1889.

Ownership and History:

On upper pastedown, label with ex libris of James Heyworth-Dunne (d.1974), stamped with inventory numbers, "Ex Libris | J. Heyworth-Dunne | D. Lit. (London) | No.7783" ; UM Library inscription on p.3 "Dunning | Heyworth-Dunne | 6-13-51 | 71955" ; collation statement on 'title page' reads "عدة كراريس عدد ٢٥" ; occasional glosses and 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):

Heyworth-Dunne, J. (James), former owner.

In Collection:

Heyworth-Dunne Collection.


Brockelmann, C. GAL,II 474 ; S II 721Walz, Terence. "The Paper trade of Egypt and the Sudan in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and its re-export to the Bilad as-Sudan." In The Trans-Saharan book trade: manuscript culture, Arabic literacy, and intellectual history in Muslim Africa. Graziano Krätli and Ghislaine Lydon, Eds. (Leiden : Brill, 2011):73-108.

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Posted by evyn on December 1, 2010
Tags: Arabic MSS, Fully Catalogued, Heyworth-Dunne Collection

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