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Walters Ms. W.626, Collection of poems (masnavi)

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Shelf mark

W.626


Manuscript

Collection of poems (masnavi)


Text title
Mas̱navī-i maʿnavī

Vernacular: مثنوى معنوى


Author

Authority name: Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī, Maulana, 1207-1273

As-written name: Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Bahāʾ al-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī

Name, in vernacular: جلال الدين محمد بن بهاء الدين محمد رومى

Note: Author dates preferred by cataloger: d. 672 AH / 1273 CE


Abstract

This is an illustrated and illuminated copy of the collection of poems, known as Mas̱navī-i maʿnavī, of Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī (d. 672 AH / 1273 CE). According to the colophon (fol. 314b), the text, written in black nastaʿlīq script, was completed in India in 1073 AH / 1663 CE. Each section of the work is introduced by a double-page illuminated incipit containing a preface in prose, followed by two illustrations and an illuminated incipit page for the masnavi. In total, fifty paintings illustrate the text. The green leather binding is modern.


Date

19 Dhū al-Qaʿdah 1073 AH / 1663 CE


Origin

India


Form

Book


Genre

Literary -- Prose

Literary -- Poetry

Sufi


Language:

The primary language in this manuscript is Persian. The secondary language of this manuscript is Arabic.


Colophon
fol. 314b:
  1. Transliteration: tammat bi-al-khayr wa-al-ẓafar /1/ bi-tārīkh-i nūzahum shahr-i Dhī al-Qaʿdah sanat-i 1073 /2/ tamma tamma /3/
  2. Comment: Provides date of completion but does not offer name of scribe

Support material

Paper

Thin laid paper, probably Kashmiri


Extent

Foliation: ii+314+ii

Foliation in pencil of 314 folios; two folios numbered 239


Collation

Catchwords: Written obliquely on versos


Dimensions

15.0 cm wide by 26.5 cm high


Written surface

10.5 cm wide by 20.5 cm high


Layout
  1. Columns: 4
  2. Ruled lines: 25
  3. Framing lines in gold, blue, and black

Contents:
fols. 1b - 314b:
  1. Title: Mas̱navī-i maʿnavī
  2. Author: Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī, Maulana, 1207-1273
  3. Incipit: بسم الله... هذا الكتاب المثنوى وهو اصول اصول اصول الدين...
  4. Text note: Text divided into six books (daftars), each introduced by a preface in Arabic or Persian; fols. 170-177 misbound, belonging to book 6; continuation of fol. 169b on fol. 178a, the eight folios in-between belonging between fols. 266 and 267 in the same order
  5. Hand note: Written in black and red nastaʿlīq script
  6. Decoration note: Fifty Indian-style illustrations; each book introduced by a double-page illuminated incipit with a preface in prose, followed by two illustrations and an illuminated incipit page for the masnavi with a headpiece and decorated border

Decoration:

fol. 1b:

  1. W.626, fol. 1b
  2. Title: Double-page illuminated incipit
  3. Form: Incipit
  4. Label: This is the right side of a double-page illuminated incipit introducing the preface to the first book (daftar) of the Mas̱navī.

fol. 2a:

  1. W.626, fol. 2a
  2. Title: Double-page illuminated incipit
  3. Form: Incipit
  4. Label: This is the left side of a double-page illuminated incipit introducing the preface to the first book (daftar) of the Mas̱navī.

fol. 2b:

  1. W.626, fol. 2b
  2. Title: A prince returning from a hunt and a woman in a pavilion
  3. Form: Illustration; frontispiece
  4. Label: This is the right side of a double-page illustrated frontispiece introducing the first book (daftar) of the Mas̱navī. A prince is shown on horseback with a gesture of surprise as a woman waits in a pavilion.

fol. 3a:

  1. W.626, fol. 3a
  2. Title: A court scene with a physician feeling a sick woman's pulse
  3. Form: Illustration; frontispiece
  4. Label: This is the left side of a double-page illustrated frontispiece introducing the first book (daftar) of the Mas̱navī.

fol. 3b:

  1. W.626, fol. 3b
  2. Title: Incipit page with illuminated headpiece
  3. Form: Incipit; headpiece
  4. Label: This incipit page with illuminated headpiece introduces the first book (daftar) of the Mas̱navī.

fol. 20b:

  1. W.626, fol. 20b
  2. Title: A lion and a fox admire their reflection in the water of a well while a rabbit looks on
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 53b:

  1. W.626, fol. 53b
  2. Title: A court scene with musicians and dancers
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 54a:

  1. W.626, fol. 54a
  2. Title: A battle scene
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 59b:

  1. W.626, fol. 59b
  2. Title: A king gives a purse of gold to one of his servants to free a holy man from his debts to money lenders
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 61a:

  1. W.626, fol. 61a
  2. Title: A peasant carries a lion
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Label: A peasant carries a lion from a compound in the darkness of night. The peasant has mistaken the lion, who had devoured one of his cows, for one of the selfsame cows.

fol. 62a:

  1. W.626, fol. 62a
  2. Title: A group of Sufis, having stolen a donkey from another Sufi, celebrate in dance and song
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 64b:

  1. W.626, fol. 64b
  2. Title: A man kills his mother, who has committed adultery
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 65b:

  1. W.626, fol. 65b
  2. Title: A king and two newly bought slaves
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Label: A king tests his two newly bought slaves, one white and the other colored, and sends the colored one to the bathhouse to be cleaned up.

fol. 66b:

  1. W.626, fol. 66b
  2. Title: A colored slave, washed and shaved, stands in front of the king
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 69a:

  1. W.626, fol. 69a
  2. Title: Owls attack a falcon
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Label: Owls attack a falcon who lost its way and landed on the roof of a deserted house.

fol. 79b:

  1. W.626, fol. 79b
  2. Title: A bear and a sleeping man
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Label: A bear, not being able to shoo the flies attacking his friend while asleep, brings a millstone to crush them, not realizing that he will crush his friend's head, too.

fol. 82b:

  1. W.626, fol. 82b
  2. Title: A dog bites a blind beggar
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 83a:

  1. W.626, fol. 83a
  2. Title: A drunkard and a policeman
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 94b:

  1. W.626, fol. 94b
  2. Title: A mouse, clutching the reins of a camel, at a stream of water
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 100b:

  1. W.626, fol. 100b
  2. Title: A court scene with food and music
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 101a:

  1. W.626, fol. 101a
  2. Title: Two naked girls in a pool attended by angels
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 101b:

  1. W.626, fol. 101b
  2. Title: Incipit page with illuminated headpiece
  3. Form: Incipit; headpiece
  4. Label: This incipit page has an illuminated headpiece introducing the third book (daftar) of the Mas̱navī.

fol. 103b:

  1. W.626, fol. 103b
  2. Title: A mother elephant crushes to death the men who killed her cub and ate its meat
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 108a:

  1. W.626, fol. 108a
  2. Title: Majnūn feeds a dog in the vicinity of Laylá’s house
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 110a:

  1. W.626, fol. 110a
  2. Title: A boastful jackal
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Label: A jackal, having colored his coat in a jar of paint, boasts that he is more beautiful than peacocks.

fol. 111a:

  1. W.626, fol. 111a
  2. Title: A jackal in the company of other animals and birds
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Label: This illustration depicts a jackal, in the company of other animals and birds, and the portrait of the Pharaoh who thought himself to be God.

fol. 113a:

  1. W.626, fol. 113a
  2. Title: Hebrew mothers with their babies in front of the Pharaoh who intends to kill them
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 114a:

  1. W.626, fol. 114a
  2. Title: A snake charmer and a sleeping dragon on his way to Baghdad
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 117b:

  1. W.626, fol. 117b
  2. Title: Townspeople, who have never seen an elephant, examine its appearance in the dark
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 121b:

  1. W.626, fol. 121b
  2. Title: Misbehaving students and their supposedly sick teacher
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 122a:

  1. W.626, fol. 122a
  2. Title: The mothers of students visit a sick teacher
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 135a:

  1. W.626, fol. 135a
  2. Title: The king of the elephants
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Label: The king of the elephants comes to a pool of water, in which is seen the reflection of the moon, to test the story of the leader of a band of hares, that the moon will be angry if the elephants come to drink from the pool.

fol. 136a:

  1. W.626, fol. 136a
  2. Title: The owner of a house and a thief
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Label: This illustration depicts an exchange between the owner of a house and a thief who makes a hole in the wall to break in, while pretending that he is playing drums.

fol. 156b:

  1. W.626, fol. 156b
  2. Title: King Solomon hears the complaint of an ant who was blown off the wall and got wounded
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 160b:

  1. W.626, fol. 160b
  2. Title: A court scene with music, dance, and wine
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 161a:

  1. W.626, fol. 161a
  2. Title: A scene depicting various activities
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Label: This scene depicts various activities involving men, women, and children, such as making bread, fetching water, bringing in hunted animals, and combing a nursing mother’s hair.

fol. 163b:

  1. W.626, fol. 163b
  2. Title: A shoemaker and the unfaithful wife of a Sufi surprised by her husband’s unexpected return home
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 170a:

  1. W.626, fol. 170a
  2. Title: A woman plays a stringed instrument in the company of tamed animals and birds
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 170b:

  1. W.626, fol. 170b
  2. Title: Incipit page with illuminated headpiece
  3. Form: Incipit; headpiece
  4. Label: This incipit page has an illuminated headpiece introducing the sixth book (daftar) of the Mas̱navī.

fol. 172a:

  1. W.626, fol. 172a
  2. Title: A man questions a preacher about the meaning of the direction a rooster faces while on the roof
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 177a:

  1. W.626, fol. 177a
  2. Title: Thieves, unhindered by guards, attack a caravan while its occupants sleep
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 213b:

  1. W.626, fol. 213b
  2. Title: A hunting scene
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 214a:

  1. W.626, fol. 214a
  2. Title: Maidens bathe a princess who inspects herself in a mirror
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 220b:

  1. W.626, fol. 220b
  2. Title: A wise man and a peacock plucking out its feathers not to be attractive to people
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 224b:

  1. W.626, fol. 224b
  2. Title: An unhappy deer in the company of donkeys
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 230b:

  1. W.626, fol. 230b
  2. Title: A maid, who used to sleep with a donkey, pretends to feed the animal
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 239a:

  1. W.626, fol. 239a
  2. Title: Iyāz searches for hidden treasure
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Label: Iyāz, Sultan Maḥmūd’s confidant, searches for hidden treasure. A man brings out instead his modest fur coat and shoes (here mistakenly shown as a hat).

fol. 242a:

  1. W.626, fol. 242a
  2. Title: A woodcutter’s miserable donkey who envies the king’s horses, fed with delicious grain
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 242b:

  1. W.626, fol. 242b
  2. Title: Horses return from battle
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Label: Badly wounded horses return from battle and make the donkey realize that it should be satisfied with its modest existence.

fol. 245a:

  1. W.626, fol. 245a
  2. Title: A sick lion, inspired by a clever fox, hunts a donkey for its brain to cure his disease
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 253b:

  1. W.626, fol. 253b
  2. Title: A mosque scene and the question of the length of pubic hair
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 255a:

  1. W.626, fol. 255a
  2. Title: The husband of a greedy woman weighs the cat that supposedly ate all the meat that he bought for his guests
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 266b:

  1. W.626, fol. 266b
  2. Title: Majnūn in the company of animals in the wilderness
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 267a:

  1. W.626, fol. 267a
  2. Title: A young man and an old man
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Label: A young man in love with an old man comes to visit him but finds him asleep. He puts some walnuts in his pocket as a sign of his continuous affection.

fol. 289a:

  1. W.626, fol. 289a
  2. Title: A mouse and a frog near a pond
  3. Form: Illustration

Binding

The binding is not original.

Modern green leather (no flap)


Provenance

Round seal impression: Ibrāhīm [...] (front flyleaf iia)


Acquisition

Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters bequest


Bibliography

Richard, Francis. Catalogue des manuscrits persans. (Paris: Bibliothèque nationale, 1989), nos. 265-7, 269.

Gacek, Adam. Persian Manuscripts in the Libraries of McGill University: Brief Union Catalogue. (Montreal: McGill University Libraries, 2005), no. 154.


Contributors

Principal cataloger: Gacek, Adam

Catalogers: Landau, Amy; Smith, Sita

Editor: Bockrath, Diane

Conservators: Jewell, Stephanie; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Barrera, Christina; Emery, Doug; Herbert, Lynley; Noel, William; Simpson, Shreve; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.; Valle, Chiara


Publisher

The Walters Art Museum


License

Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/legalcode. It is requested that copies of any published articles based on the information in this data set be sent to the curator of manuscripts, The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21201.