Isl. Ms. 886


Maqālāt-i Shaykh-i Niẓāmī,[1106, i.e. 1694].مقالات شیخ نظامی,[1106ه, 1694م].


Niẓāmī Ganjavī,1140 or 41-1202 or 3.نظامى گنجوى.

Place/Date of Production:



293 leaves :paper ;293 x 188 (188 x 122) mm. bound to 300 x 195 mm.


Exquisite copy of Niẓāmī’s Khamsah (quintet) with Makhzan al-asrār, Khusraw va Shīrīn, Laylá (Laylī) va Majnūn, Haft Paykar, and Iskandarʹnāmah (Sharafʹnāmah and Iqbālʹnāmah, in titlepiece on 'title page' (p.9) distinguished as Iskandarʹnāmah and Iqbālʹnāmah).

Other Title(s):

Khamsahخمسهمقالات شيخ نظامى


Persian poetry--747-1500.
Epic poetry, Persian--Early works to 1800.
Masnavis, Persian--Early works to 1800.
Manuscripts, Persian--Michigan--Ann Arbor.


Headpieces (layout features)17th century.




Ms. codex.
Title from illuminated titlepiece on 'title page' (p.9).


"بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم هست کلید در گنج حکیم ..."


"از اغاز او تا با نجام او تمت الکتاب بعون ملك الوهاب تم"


"Scribal," triangular, reads "بتاریخ دویم شهر محرم الحرام سنه سی و هشت جلوس میمنت مانوس محمد اورنگ زیب بادشاه عالم گیر خلد الله ملکه و سلطنته و مطابق سنه هجری مقدس یکهزار و صد و شش کاتب المذنب محتاج الغفران عبد الرحمن ابن عبد الله حسب الفرموده صاحب و الاجاه ذوی المجد و الکرام مفخر الانام میر عبد السلام مد الله تعالی ظل اقباله و عمه نواله الی یوم القیامه کتاب اقبال نامه فی حصن حصین و حصار متین ... نمود تمت بالخیر تم"


Can you help transcribe the dedication? Please comment!


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

Physical Details:

ii, 10 IV(80), III (86), 5 IV(126), III+I+I (136), V+1 (147), 5 IV(187), III (193), 6 IV(241), III (247), 5 IV(287), III (293), ii ; chiefly quaternions with occasional ternions ; middle of the quire marks in the form of short strokes in black ink in the upper outer corner of the right-hand leaf and lower-outer corner of the left-hand leaf ; tissue weight leaves inserted to protect illuminated decoration (not paginated) ; seven gatherings before the last bound in upside down (pp.497-604) ; catchwords present ; pagination in pencil, Western numerals, supplied during digitization (includes inserts and inner flyleaves).


Written in 23 lines per page, with written area divided to four columns ; frame-ruled.


Nastaʻlīq ; elegant hand in a thin line ; serifless with effect of words descending to baseline and inclining to the right, elongation of horizontal strokes, pointing (two and three dots) mainly in distinct dots ; section headings in tawqīʻ (mainly serifless).


Elegant illuminated titlepiece on 'title page' (p.9) consisting of medallion with central cartouche and roundels carrying the title, author and contents in blue ink on fields of gold, set among fine floral vegetal decoration in gold, red-orange, pink, white, etc. on fields of black and blue, set off by decorative bands in white, gold, blue, green and lavender and radiating stalks (tīgh) ; superb illuminated headpiece (ʻunwān / sarlawḥ) at opening of each section (p.10, 64, 204, 300, 398, 555) mainly consisting of rectangular pieces, opening headpiece on p.10 consisting of rectangular piece with empty gold cartouche flanked by gold pendants overlaid with swirling floral vegetal decoration in gold, red-orange, pink, green, light blue, white, etc. set in fields of blue, surmounted by rectangular piece evoking a row of scalloped domes filled with similar floral vegetal design on fields of gold and blue, all set in a well of red, green and blue and surmounted by vertical stalks (tīgh) ; accenting text on p.486, similar floral motifs to that appearing in headpieces ; written area surrounded by frame in gold band with outermost red and blue fillets, divisions within defined by narrow gold bands outlined in black fillets ; headings chrysographed, rubricated or in blue ink.


non-European laid paper mainly with roughly 7 laid lines per cm. (mainly vertical, somewhat indistinct, some curving) and occasional chain lines visible, cloudy formation, sturdy, lightly burnished, dark cream to beige in color ; pastedowns and flyleaves in European laid paper with scrollwork (tree form above and shield at center) and "D & C BLAUW" watermarks ; some staining ; repairs (fills).


Boards covered in a mottled paper (resembling effect of marble calf / mottled calf / tree calf) in brown with light brown leather over spine and board corners (half binding) ; Western style binding (tight back) ; pastedowns and flyleaves in untinted European laid paper ; edges of text block stained blue ; now sewn over five recessed cords ; overall in fair condition with minor abrasion, lifting and losses of leather and paper, etc.

Accompanying Materials:

a. Scrap with inscription in ink "Niẓāmī MS. of Khamsa 1697" (paginated pp.1-2) -- b. Recycled card with notes in hand of Emilie Savage-Smith [?] "Medallion – found at beginning or end, usually contain title – do not use term ʻunwān | Persian poetry - Indian poet, but not Indian ms. | some signatures at end bd. in upside down | 17th c." (paginated pp.3-4) -- c. Slip with note "Persian Manuscripts (Heyworth-Dunne?) No Husselman or Meredith-Owen notes" (paginated pp.5-6) -- d. Slip with note in Arabic on prayer obligation (paginated pp.437-438).

Former Shelfmarks:

Mich. Isl. Ms. temp. no. 35


As appears in colophon on p.614, copied by ʻAbd al-Raḥmān ibn ʻAbd Allāh on the order of Mīr ʻAbd al-Salām ( مير عبد السلام ) with transcription completed 2 Muḥarram in the 38th year of Awrangzīb (r.1068–1118/1658–1707), that is Hijrī year 1106 [ca. 23 August 1694].

Ownership and History:

Inscription in French describing manuscript in terms of content, author and date, in brown ink on label affixed to upper pastedown, reads "Oeuvres complètes de Nizami poète indien de la fin du XVIe Siècle manuscrit copié en 1697" ; on verso of flyleaf (p.8) inscription in pencil "Schapoor 23d May 1804 [?] | Bought of a Musulman from Boorhandpoor for 25 [..?]" with trace of a circular seal impression ; on 'title page' (p.9), inscription in ink in French "Vincent avocat/ile de France" ; occasional glosses.

Contributor(s) / Included work(s):

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


05 ʻAbd al-Raḥmān ibn ʻAbd Allāh, fl. 1694, scribe. 05 عبد الرحمن بن عبد الله, ناسخ.

Former Owner(s):

Nuttall, Frank E., 1875-1943, former owner.

In Collection:

F. E. Nuttall Collection.


Cat. Pers. MSS. Brit. Mus.,p.564 ff.

Images1 2

Posted by evyn on March 9, 2011
Tags: F. E. Nuttall Collection, Fully Catalogued, Persian MSS

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