Isl. Ms. 337


Dīvān-i Muḥtasham,[1203, i.e. 1789].دیوان محتشم,[1203ه, 1789م].


Muḥtasham, ʻAlī ibn Aḥmad,1499 or 500-1587 or 8.محتشام, على ابن احمد.

Place/Date of Production:



340 leaves :paper ;308 x 205 (200 x 75) mm.


Splendid copy of the Dīvān of Muḥtasham-i Kāshānī (d.1587 or 9) executed by Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad Taqī Sāravī for Fatḥ ʻAlī Shāh Qājār (1769-1834, r.1797-1834) before his accession to the throne.

Other Title(s):

Edge title (fore edge):ديوان محتشم


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


Headpieces (layout features)18th century.




Ms. codex.
Title from statement on 'title page' (p.3).


"نفیر مرغ سحر خوان چو شد بلند صدا پرید زاغ شب از روی بیضه بیضا ..."


"اگر که گاه بودی محتشم را نکته آموزی"


"Scribal," including patronage statement, in Persian and Arabic, reads "حسب الامر امير بى نظير زيبنده تاج و سرير ... فتحعلى خان الشهير ببابا خان قاجار قوانلو خلد الله سلطانته باتمام اين كليات واختتام اين ابيات معجز آيات پرداخت ... سوده ونمقه العبد المحتاج الى الله الصمد ابن محمد تقى الساروى محمد في يوم الاربعا ثالث عشرون شهر جميدى الاول من شهور سنه ۱۲۰۳"


Can you help transcribe the dedication? Please comment!


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

Physical Details:

IV (8), 34 IV(280), V+3 (293), 2 III(305), III+1 (312), 3 IV(336), II (340) ; Chiefly quaternions ; pagination in pencil, Western numerals, supplied during digitization (includes front flyleaf).


Written in roughly 19 lines per page, with written area mainly divided to two columns ; frame-ruled.


Shikastah (shikastah-nastaʻlīq / شكسته نستعليق ) ; elegant Persian hand ; serifless, with effect of words descending to baseline, closed counters, and elongated horizontal strokes.


Splendid illuminated headpiece (ʻunwān / sarlawḥ) at opening on p.4 consisting of rectangular panel with empty gold cartouche flanked by floral motifs and swirling vegetal design in gold, red, blue, and white on fields of blue and red, surmounted by scalloped w-shaped piece filled with swirling vegetal design and floral motifs in green, lavender, orange, red, pink, and yellow on a blue and gold ground with outline and accents in white and black, all set in a well of blue with white accents ; rich illuminated marginal decoration (including inner margin) on incipit and facing page (pp.4-5) consisting of elaborate swirling floral vegetal design in green, orange, yellow, pink, lavender, and light blue on a gold ground, on incipit page (p.4) surrounding a domed medallion in gold carrying the name of Fatḥ ʻAlī Shāh Qājār ("السلطان فتحعلي شاه قاجار"), possibly added later upon his ascent to throne ; additional exquisite double illuminations at openings on pp.342-343 and 344-345, including headpieces and marginal decoration (on pp.344-345, marginal decoration includes birds in pink, blue and orange) ; written area of incipit and facing page surrounded by frame of red with gold accents, gold cloud-bands setting off the text, and vertical bands of blue and red arabesque framing the columns ; written area elsewhere surrounded by frame of gold bands defined by black fillets (columns and divisions within written area also defined by gold bands and black fillets) ; keywords and section heading rubricated ; occasional textual dividers in the form of three or four red discs.


European laid paper of several types ; opening type with 13 laid lines per cm. (horizontal), chain lines spaced 19-22 mm. apart (vertical) and watermarks of "FC" under scalloped crown (see p.8, etc.) and shield with lion rampant, "F" below and scalloped crown above (see p.10, 14, 16, etc.) ; next type with 11-13 laid lines per cm. (horizontal), chain lines spaced 22 mm. apart (vertical), and watermarks of smiling lion passant guardant with "F" below (see p.12, 20, 22, etc.) and "FC" only (see p.26, 28, etc.) ; next (and majority) type with 11 laid lines per cm. (horizontal), chain lines spaced 19-21 mm. apart (vertical), and watermarks of "FE" [?] under scalloped crown (see p.98, 120, 360, 680, etc.) and three hats (see p.100, 154, 184, 340, 488, etc.) ; all highly sized and burnished, thin and crisp though quite sturdy.


Heavy pasteboards covered in painted lacquerwork with spine in dark gray leather ; Type III binding (without flap), two-piece binding (overlapping flanges visible at spine) ; upper and lower doublures in fine painted lacquerwork of a central medallion evoking a four-petalled flower and pendants of vegetal design in gold on a red ground, framed in gold ; upper and lower covers bear paintings of nearly identical composition with entire panel virtually filled with swirling vines in yellow / gold, leaves of green and grapes of dark red on a pale orange ground, surrounded by vegetal borders in gold on dark red and green grounds ; sewn in red thread, two stations ; worked chevron endbands in red, cream and [?] (now gray), good condition ; overall in fair condition with some abrasion and losses to lacquerwork and pasteboard, etc. ; housed in box for protection.

Former Shelfmarks:

"432 T. De M. [i.e. Tammaro De Marinis]" and "١۷" inscribed in pencil on opening leaf (p.1, serves as flyleaf) ; possible inventory inscription on fore edge of text block.


As appears in closing matter (colophon including patronage statement) on pp.676-7, executed for Fatḥ ʻAlī Shāh Qājār (1769-1834, r.1797-1834) ("ḥasaba al-amr amīr bī-naẓīr... Fatḥ ʻAlī Khān, al-shahīr bi-Bābā Khān, Qājār Quvānlū ... sawwadahu wa-nammaqahu..."), apparently before his ascension to the throne, by Ibn Muḥammad Taqī al-Sāravī Muḥammad (author of Tārīkh-i Muḥammadī, still living in 1802) with transcription completed 23 Jumādá I 1203 [ca. 19 February 1789]. Statement dated Rabīʻ I 1232 [January-February 1817] on 'title page' (p.3) names the copyist and indicates that the manuscript was presented to the Imperial Library.

Ownership and History:

Inscriptions in pencil on recto of opening leaf (p.1, serving as front flyleaf) "432 T. De M. [i.e. Tammaro De Marinis]" and "١۷" along with inventory mark "محتشم" ; on 'title page' (p.3), statement dated Rabīʻ I 1232 [January-February 1817] (accompanied by rectangular seal) names the copyist and indicates that the manuscript was presented to the Imperial Library, statement reads "ديوان محتشم بخط مرحوم ملا محمد ساروى بتاريخ شهر ربيع الاول سنه ۱۲۳۲ از عرض كتابخانۀ مباركۀ شاهنشاهى روحى و روح العالمين فراه كر نست [?]" ; medallion (possibly added later than date of transcription) in the name of Fatḥ ʻAlī Shāh Qājār in the outer margin of the incipit page (p.4), reads "السلطان فتحعلي شاه قاجار" ; as appears in closing matter, executed for Fatḥ ʻAlī Shāh Qājār (1769-1834, r.1797-1834) ; fairly clean copy with rare correction (see p.304, 323, etc.).

Contributor(s) / Included work(s):

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


05 Sāravī, Muḥammad Fatḥ Allāh ibn Muḥammad Taqī, scribe. 05 ساروى، محمد فتح الله ابن محمد تقى, ناسخ.

Former Owner(s):

Abdülhamid II, Sultan of the Turks, 1842-1918, former owner. 07 قاجار، فتح على شاه، شاه ايران, مالك سابق, راع.

In Collection:

Abdul Hamid Collection.


Cat. Pers. MSS. Brit. Mus.,p.665Cat. Pers. MSS. Brit. Mus.,p.199Abbas Amanat. "FATḤ-ʻALĪ SHAH QĀJĀR," Encyclopædia Iranica,Vol. IX, Fasc. 4, pp. 407-421Lambton, A.K.S. "Fatḥ-ʻalī Shāh." EI2,Vol. II, p. 838, col. 2

Images1 2

Posted by evyn on January 31, 2011
Tags: Abdul Hamid Collection, Fully Catalogued, Persian MSS

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