Isl. Ms. 360


[Māhʻmunīr va Khūbʻchihrah,18th century?].[ماه منیر و خوب چهره,قرن 18م؟].


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

Place/Date of Production:



278 leaves :paper ;192 x 135 (125 x 67) mm.


Elegant though incomplete copy of what Pasha Mohamad Khan has identified as "Story of the love of Māh-i Munīr son of ‘Arab-Shāh for Khūb-chihrah, merchant’s daughter" (cf. Punjab University Āẕar Collection, MS 16-S-8545G), extensively illustrated with many miniatures (see note on catalog card). Contributions to the transcription also from Pasha Mohamad Khan.

Other Title(s):

ماه منير و خوب چهرهMāh Munīr va Khūb Chihrah


Persian prose literature--Early works to 1800.
Manuscripts, Persian--Michigan--Ann Arbor.


Headpieces (layout features)18th centuryIndia.




Ms. codex.
Title supplied by cataloguer.
Accompanying material: Slip of wove paper with manuscript description in black ink in hand of G. Meredith-Owens, "The romance of Māh-munīr the son of King ʻArabshāh and Khūb-chihreh, daughter of the merchant Abū Naṣr. This tale seems to be otherwise unknown and is probably an Indian composition. Late 18th - early 19th century with contemporary illustrations in the Kashmiri style."


"بلبل نوایان چمن عشقبازی و دستان سرایان انجمن نکته پردازی طوطی زبان ..."


"حيران ماندند و گریبان ہا چاك زدند شه تابوت را یكبار بر آوردند فریاد و واویلا از مرد و زن و پیر و جوان ..."


Can you help transcribe the colophon? Please comment!


Can you help transcribe the dedication? Please comment!


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

Physical Details:

Chiefly quaternions in the latter part of the codex, elsewhere gatherings are now altered for interleaving with an extremely haphazard result ; middle of the quire marks in the form of oblique strokes appear in latter gatherings ; catchwords present ; blank leaves interleaved to protect minatures.


Written mainly in 11 lines per page, though occasionally four or fewer lines accompanied by a half or near full-page miniature, or three lines accompanied by decorative arrangement of four lines on the diagonal, forming a diamond shape.


Nastaʻlīq ; bold, elegant Indian hand in a heavy line ; serifless, with marked effect of words descending to baseline, elongation and exaggerated thickness of horizontal strokes, pointing mainly in distinct or conjoined dots.


Elegant illuminated headpiece (ʻunwān / sarlawḥ) at opening consisting of small rectangular piece with gold cartouche carrying the basmalah flanked by floral motifs in pink, yellow, blue, and red on fields of dark blue, surmounted by tall scalloped w-shaped piece filled with delicate floral vegetal decoration in pink, red, orange, white, green, etc. on grounds of gold and dark blue with red and white vegetal accents, set in a well of black bands flanking a heavy gold band with floral motifs ; written area throughout surrounded by an elaborate vegetal border with floral motifs in green and yellow with red-orange accents, defined by bands of gold and red with outermost red and blue fillets ; margin also defined by black fillets ; keywords rubricated ; occasional textual dividers in the form of red inverted commas ; occasional illuminated floral accents set off text arranged on the diagonal ; 29 near full-page and 43 half-page miniatures in the Kashmīrī style, with generous use of lavender, red-orange, orange, yellow, lime green, and slate blue with occasional gold ; a few pencil drawings (see title page, page facing incipit page, etc.).


non-European (likely Indian) laid paper with 11 laid lines per cm. (horizontal, fairly distinct) and no chain lines visible, thin and transluscent though sturdy, well-burnished ; numerous fills and other repairs.


Heavy pasteoards faced in dark maroon leather with green-blue leather over spine and edges / turn-ins and turquoise leather (shagreen) over board corners (leather faced and edged framed binding) ; Type III binding (without flap) ; doublures in purple surface-dyed paper with central diamond shape ornament and pendants cut from gold textured paper and applied ; upper and lower covers carry stamped central ornament (diamond / floral shape) and pendants (with recessed onlays) and blind tooled border ; sewn in dark purple thread, two stations ; worked endbands in magenta and dark purple, good condition ; overall in somewhat poor condition with much abrasion, staining, lifting and losses of leather and pigment, covers detaching, severe spine slant (cocked), etc.

Former Shelfmarks:

"217 T. De M. [i.e. Tammaro De Marinis]" inscribed in pencil on recto of front flyleaf.


Lacks dated colophon ; G. Meredith-Owens (who also confirmed the identification) has proposed a date of late 18th century (see note on catalog card) as suggested by paper, painting style, etc.

Ownership and History:

Inscription in pencil on front flyleaf "217 T. De M. [i.e. Tammaro De Marinis]" ; inscription on 'title page' (later repair to opening leaf) appears to be dated 26 Jumādá II 1255 [?] [1839 ?] ; another inscription on 'title page' reads "در عهد دولت قويشوكت نور الله اخوان ١٢٥١٢ ... اضعف فقير حقير ... عباد ولى كشيمرى ... نظر در خط كشيمرنوشته شد اين [... ؟] تحرير يافت در تاريخ شهر ... سنه" ; occasional glosses (what may be descriptions of scenes to be depicted by the illustrator) 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):

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

In Collection:

Abdul Hamid Collection.

Images1 2

Posted by evyn on May 16, 2011
Tags: Abdul Hamid Collection, Fully Catalogued, Persian MSS

Total comments on this page: 4

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Pasha Mohamad Khan on paragraph 13:

“…حيران ماندند و گریبان ہا چاك زدند شه تابوت یكبار بر آوردند فریاد و واویلا از مرد و زن و پیر و جوان…”

November 12, 2011 12:25 pm
Pasha Mohamad Khan on paragraph 14:

If the digital surrogate has been correctly compiled, the MS appears to be incomplete, missing colophon.

November 12, 2011 12:38 pm
Pasha Mohamad Khan on paragraph 16:

Story of the love of Māh-i Munīr son of ‘Arab-Shāh for Khūb-chihrah, merchant’s daughter.

November 12, 2011 12:41 pm
Pasha Mohamad Khan on whole page :

Cf. Punjab University, Āẕar Collection, MS 16-S-8545.

November 12, 2011 12:49 pm

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