Isl. Ms. 892


[Majmaʻ al-baḥrayn va Muntakhab-i ashʻār,1137, i.e. 1725].[مجمع البحرین و منتخب اشعار,1137ه, 1725م].


Kātibī Turshīzī, Muḥammad ibn ʻAbd Allāh,d. ca. 1434كاتبى ترشيزى، محمد بن عبد الله.

Place/Date of Production:



100 leaves :paper ;165 x 103 (128 x 65) mm. bound to 170 x 108 mm.


Fine copy of Majmaʻ al-baḥrayn, an allegorical Ṣūfī poem addressing the loves of Nāẓir and Manẓūr by the Persian poet Kātibī, Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn ʻAbd Allāh (d. ca. 1435-6), preceded by an anonymous selection of poetry (possibly also by Kātibī ?).

Other Title(s):

مجمع البحرينMajma ul BahraeinMuntakhab-i ashʻārمنتخب اشعار


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




Ms. codex.
Title supplied by cataloguer from colophon on p.216.
Shelfmark: Ann Arbor, University of Michigan, Special Collections Library, Isl. Ms. 892


[Muntakhab-i ashʻār] "ر مر [؟] الان گر کسی فهميد كان الله لم يكن را ديد ..." ; [Majmaʻ al-baḥrayn] "و به الحول و القوة مدام از حضرت مبلغ الهام ... گوید منتظم اين كتاب و متمم اين خطاب ... محمد بن عبد الله نشاپورى المعروف بكاتبى ... مجمع البحرين اشعاريست ..."


[Muntakhab-i ashʻār]"در تراصد حکم خاقانی بود اخر کارت چو خاقانی بود در بسازی چون نظامی پنج گنج ربح باشد اخرت زان پنج گنج تم تم تمام شد" ; [Majmaʻ al-baḥrayn] "بیت وی از نام تو معمور باد نامش از انعام تو مشهور باد"


[Majmaʻ al-baḥrayn] "Scribal," rectangular, reads "تمت السراله الموسومه بمجمع البحرين فى التاريخ ۱۹ رجب سنه ۱۱۳۷ كاتب اين صنعت يا لا كلام هست رهى در همه خدمت تمام"


Can you help transcribe the dedication? Please comment!


1. p.18-p.101 : [Muntakhab-i ashʻār] / Kātibī [?].
2. p.102-p.216 : Majmaʻ al-baḥrayn / Kātibī.

Physical Details:

i, 5 IV(40), II (44), 7 IV(100), i ; quaternions (as suggested by mid-quire marks, original sewing now obscured) ; middle of the quire marks in the form of oblique black strokes in upper outer corner of right-hand leaf and lower-outer corner of left-hand leaf ; catchwords present ; pagination in pencil, Western numerals, supplied during digitization (includes inserts).


Written in mainly 12 and 11 lines per page, often divided to two columns ; frame-ruled.


Nastaʻlīq ; two elegant hands ; opening through p.100 (selection of poetry) in a clear hand in a medium line, serifless with slight effect of words descending to baseline, elongation of horizontal strokes, some sweeping descenders, pointing mainly in distinct dots ; p.101 to close (mainly Majmaʻ al-baḥrayn) in a careful hand in a bold line with effect of words descending to baseline, marked contrast in thickness between horizontal and vertical strokes, elongation of horizontal strokes, pointing (two and three dots) in conjoined dots.


Keywords and section headings rubricated (mainly in Majmaʻ al-baḥrayn) ; textual dividers in the form of three dots ; written area surrounded by frame consisting of a yellow band defined by black fillets with outermost red rule.


non-European (likely Indian or Persian) laid paper with roughly 10 laid lines per cm. (horizontal, fairly distinct, some curving) and no chain lines plainly visible, cloudy formation, thin and transluscent though sturdy, beige to grayish in color, well-burnished ; repairs (fills) in European wove paper ; some pest damage, staining and tide lines.


Boards covered in orange-red cloth with brown leather over spine and board corners (half binding) ; Western style binding ; pastedowns and flyleaves in untinted paper ; spine gold-stamped with title "MAJMA | UL | BAHRAEIN" ; possibly now sewn over cords, but also oversewn ; stuck-on endbands in red and white ; overall in fair condition with some abrasion and deterioration of spine leather, etc.

Accompanying Materials:

a. Part of a page torn from 1908 catalog of Luzac & Co., 'Books on Modern Persian Literature,' with description of this manuscript "196 KATIBI. Majma ʼal-Bahrain. A Sufic poem. Bound up with "a collection of Masnavis, followed by rubāʻis" by an anonymous writer. Persian MSS. Small 8vo, half-bound. 9s. 1725. Nicely written in red and black ink with illuminated margins." (paginated pp.1-2) -- b. Scrap with description of opening work in black ink "Anonymous. A collection of masnavis followed by rubāʻīs. No date XVIII." (paginated pp.3-4) -- c. Scrap with description of second work in black ink "Kātibī. Majmaʻ al-Baḥrain. A Sufic | Dated 1137 A.H. = 1725 A.D." (paginated pp.5-6) -- d. Slip with description in hand of G. Meredith-Owens "MO 10 Majmaʻ al-baḥrain a Ṣūfī poem by Kātibī. Copied 1237 | Preceded by a mas̲navī and some quatrains" (paginated pp.7-8) -- e. Slip with description of second work (in hand of E. Husslman ?) "Muẖammad ibn ʻAbd Allah al-Nīsāpūrī, called Kātibī. Majmaʻ al-bahrain. Not in U. of M. MSS. 'The confluent of the two seas' ; a Sufī poem which treats of the loves of Nāẓir and Manẓūr. cf. BMCat. Pers. MSS. v.2, p.638a | 100 ff. | 200 pp." (paginated pp.9-10) -- f. Slip with description of opening work (in hand of E. Husslman ?) "Anonymous collection of masnavis and rubais. n.f. anywhere" (paginated pp.11-12) -- g. Slip with note "Counted for 1968/69 Annual Report" (paginated pp.13-14) -- h. Slip with note "Persian MSS (Heywood-Dunne?) with Husselman and Meredith-Owen notes" (paginated pp.15-16).

Former Shelfmarks:

Mich. Isl. Ms. temp. no. 41


As appears in colophon at close of Majmaʻ al-baḥrayn on p.216, transcription completed 19 Rajab 1137 [ca. 3 April 1725]. Opening work likely completed around the same time.

Ownership and History:

Former inventory marks in pencil on upper pastedown "MS | 1906" , etc. ; title and former inventory number in pencil "Ms 190. Majma ul Bahrain" as well as "45" on 'title page' (p.17) ; fairly clean copy.

Contributor(s) / Included work(s):

Muntakhab-i ashʻārمنتخب اشعار


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

Former Owner(s):

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


F. E. Nuttall Collection.


Cat. Pers. MSS. Brit. Mus.,p.637 f.Dehghan, I. "Kātibī, s̲h̲ams al-dīn muḥammad b. ʿabd allāh." In EI2,vol. IV, p.762, col. 2

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

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