Isl. Ms. 220


[Talismanic scroll with metal case,727?, i.e. 1327? and 18th century?].[طومار مع غلاف معدني,727ه او 1327م؟ و قرن 18م؟].

Place/Date of Production:

[1327? and 17--?].


1 roll :paper ;(4425 x 104-112 mm) + 1 metal case (145 x 54 mm).


Composite talismanic scroll (rotulus, i.e. opening vertically) consisting of two sections of distinct production, now joined. Originally wrapped in oil cloth and housed in metal case.

Other Title(s):

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


Talismans--Islamic Empire
Amulets (Islam)
Manuscripts, Arabic--Michigan--Ann Arbor.
Manuscripts, Persian--Michigan--Ann Arbor.


Arabic and Persian.


Ms. roll.
Title supplied by cataloguer.
Accompanying material: a. Metal case in the form of a cylinder decorated with incised diamond pattern with lid (only slightly convex) ; case retains one ring through which a cord may have passed, a second ring has been lost -- b. Waxy, brown oil cloth now in two pieces which once wrapped roll inside case.


"صوره مهر نبوت حضرت رسالت پناهی ..."


Can you help transcribe the explicit? Please comment!


"كتبه العبد حسين ابراهيم ابن محمد الحسيني الخراساني في ذي الحجة سنه سبع وعشرين وسبعمائة [؟]"


"اللهم وخل بدخلك [؟] دوله الامير الاعدل الاعظم الاعلم الاشجع الاكرم سلطان الامراء في العالم انك دولت همه از دولت اوحي طلبنا والملك العادل ... خلد الله تعالى ملكه ودولته الى يوم الدين"


[opening section] صوره مهر نبوت حضرت رسالت پناهی -- نودونه نام باری تعالی -- دعا بازوبند حضرت شاه ولایت پناه
[main section] اسماء الله تعالى -- من اسماء الله تعالى نودونه نام -- هذا دعاء حرز الاماني -- اسماء الاربعون

Physical Details:

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


[opening section] central written area in a single column (text written perpendicular to length of the roll) bordered in ḥadīth texts along the length of the roll, ninety-nine names arranged in a ruled table / jadwal (five cells wide by twenty cells tall), text following the heading for "the prayer of the bāzūband" ("دعا بازوبند حضرت شاه ولايت پناه") in 26 lines ; [main section] an elaborate arrangement of text consisting of a central narrow panel filled with text first arranged in a series of diagonal arrays (each read across in a zig-zag fashion), next in a series of five circles executed in micrography, and finally in rectangular fields of roughly nine horizontal lines, all interspersed with headings and surrounded by two heavy borders of cartouches, circles and rectangles filled with Qurʼānic and prayer texts in various scripts, closing with dedication and colophon.


[opening section] Naskh and tawqīʻ ; [main section] Naskh, thuluth, tawqīʻ, riqāʻ, ghubār, plaited and knotted kufic.


Text of opening section bordered by red double-rule border, table / jadwal with ninety-nine names ruled in red, border texts defined by red rules, openings with depiction of the "seal of prophecy" (مهر نبوت) here "صوره مهر نبوت حضرت رسالت پناهی" ; main section opens with a long cartouche (oriented along the length of the roll) with illuminated heading "اسماء الله تعالى" in thuluth and basmalah in plaited and knotted kufic, a central field filled with floral and vegetal designs executed in micrography, bordering lozenges and alternating circles filled with further micrography (mainly chrysographed, some in blue and black) and Qurʼānic texts in large tawqīʻ approaching thuluth (chrysographed), and further border of rubricated Qurʼānic text in fine riqāʻ ; an even longer cartouche appears next, with illuminated headings for each of several sections ("من اسماء الله تعالى نودونه نام،" "هذا دعاء حرز الاماني،" اسماء الاربعون") which are each in a different layout incorporating the nintey-nine names, Qurʼānic and prayer texts in ghubār, naskh, thuluth, tawqīʻ, etc. in gold, red, black and some blue in a highly symmetrical fashion, with the various elements defined by heavy bands of gold flanked by red double-rules.


Each section in a distinct paper type ; opening section (first 895 mm., roughly 104-107 mm. wide, three pieces of paper) in type with roughly 10-11 laid lines per cm. (parallel with the length of the roll, fairly distinct) and no chain lines or watermarks plainly visible, dense and sturdy, burnished ; bulk of roll (roughly 3530 mm., 110-112 mm. wide, at least six pieces of paper) on a non-European (likely Persian) paper, highly sized and burnished, reinforced with further paper backing and repairs.


Can you supply information on the binding? Please comment!

Former Shelfmarks:

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


As appears in colophon at end of roll, main section copied by Ḥusayn Ibrāhīm ibn Muḥammad al-Ḥusaynī al-Khurāsānī with transcription completed in Dhū al-Ḥijjah 727 [?] [October-November 1327?] ; opening section (and repairs to main section) certainly much later than main section, perhaps 18th or 19th century.

Ownership and History:

On reverse at end of roll, a partially effaced prayer in the hand of the copyist of the opening section "... على فتح الهمات وعلى دفع البليات وعلى شر الساحر والساحرة وعلى شر جميع الخلايق بحق هذا الاسماء الاعظام" ; also on reverse at end of roll, an ownership statement in the name of one Yūsuf, "صاحبى ومالك يوسف ..." ; repairs to main section, in particular those supplying lost text, likely performed when two sections were joined (hands quite similar).

Contributor(s) / Included work(s):

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


05 Ḥusayn Ibrāhīm ibn Muḥammad al-Ḥusaynī al-Khurāsānī, fl. 1327, scribe. 05 حسين ابراهيم ابن محمد الحسيني الخراساني، ناسخ.

Former Owner(s):

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

In Collection:

Abdul Hamid Collection.


Turks : a journey of a thousand years, 600-1600. David J. Roxburgh, ed. (London : Royal Academy of Arts, c2005):nos. 290-291, pp.321, 450-451Savage-Smith, Emilie. "Amulets and related talismanic objects," Science, tools and magic. Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art , vol. 12 (London: Nour Foundation, in association with Azimuth Editions and Oxford University Press, 1997):132-147Al-Saleh, Yasmine. "Amulets and Talismans from the Islamic World". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–),November 2010Coffey, Heather. "Between amulet and devotion: Islamic miniature books in the Lilly Library." In The Islamic manuscript tradition: ten centuries of book arts in Indiana University collections. Ed. Christiane Gruber, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010):78-115 (esp. pp.93-95 and note 47)

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Posted by evyn on May 3, 2012
Tags: Abdul Hamid Collection, Arabic MSS, Fully Catalogued, Persian MSS

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