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Walters Ms. W.652, Marvels of the world

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Shelf mark



Marvels of the world

Text title
Gharāʾib al-dunyā

Vernacular: غرائب الدنيا


As-written name: Fakhr al-Dīn Ḥamzah ibn ʿAlī Āẕarī

Name, in vernacular: فخر الدين حمزة بن علي آذرى


This is an abridged metrical paraphrase of the second maqālah of ʿAjāʾib al-makhlūqāt (The wonders of creation) by Zakariyāʾ al-Qazwīnī (d. 682 AH / 1283 CE) with additions from other sources by Fakhr al-Dīn Ḥamzah ibn ʿAlī Āẕarī (d. 866 AH / 1461-2 CE). The text was copied in Herat (in present-day Afghanistan) in 1022 AH / 1613 CE in the library of the governor of Khurasan Ḥusayn Khān Shāmlū-yi Bīklirbīkī (Beglerbegi). The manuscript is illustrated with fourteen paintings in an early Safavid style from the eleventh century AH / seventeenth CE. The present binding is not original to the manuscript.


22 Rajab 1022 AH / 1613 CE


Herat (present-day Afghanistan)





Literary -- Poetry


The primary language in this manuscript is Persian.

fol. 214a:
  1. Transliteration: dar Dār al-Ṣaltanah-’i Harāt dar Kitāb- /1/ Khānah-i Navāb-i mustaṭāb-i muʿallá-alqāb gardun- /2/ rikāb Ḥusayn Khān Shāmlū-yi Bīklirbīkī-yi /3/ vilāyat-i Khurāsān bi-tārīkh-i 22 /4/ shahr-i Rajab al-murajjab sanah-i 1022 /5/ ṣūrat-i taḥrīr /6/ yāft /7/
  2. Comment: Gives the date and place of copying

Support material


Thick paper


Foliation: i+214+i


Catchwords: Written obliquely on versos


17.0 cm wide by 29.5 cm high

Written surface

7.5 cm wide by 17.0 cm high

  1. Columns: 2
  2. Ruled lines: 14
  3. Framing lines in blue, gold, red, and green

fols. 1b - 214a:
  1. Title: Gharāʾib al-dunyā
  2. Author: Fakhr al-Dīn Ḥamzah ibn ʿAlī Āẕarī
  3. Incipit: ابتدا ميكنم به سم الله...
  4. Hand note: Written in nastaʿlīq script in black with chapter headings in white
  5. Decoration note: Fourteen illustrations; incipit page with illuminated headpiece (fol. 1b); illuminated chapter/section headings; framing lines in blue, gold, red, and green


fol. 1b:

  1. W.652, fol. 1b
  2. Title: Incipit page with illuminated headpiece
  3. Form: Incipit; headpiece
  4. Label: This incipit page with illuminated headpiece has a purchase note in the right margin dated 1305 AH / 1887-8 CE.

fol. 24a:

  1. W.652, fol. 24a
  2. Title: A prince entertained in a garden
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 44b:

  1. W.652, fol. 44b
  2. Title: A foxhunting scene
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 58b:

  1. W.652, fol. 58b
  2. Title: A man watching two copulating horses
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 68b:

  1. W.652, fol. 68b
  2. Title: A group of people in a mountainous landscape
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 78b:

  1. W.652, fol. 78b
  2. Title: A fishing scene
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 85a:

  1. W.652, fol. 85a
  2. Title: Men with long ears (?)
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 92a:

  1. W.652, fol. 92a
  2. Title: A princely couple entertained
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 106b:

  1. W.652, fol. 106b
  2. Title: Men watching a whale
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 114b:

  1. W.652, fol. 114b
  2. Title: Men watching a black demon
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 137b:

  1. W.652, fol. 137b
  2. Title: A group of people looking at the wāqwāq tree
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 147b:

  1. W.652, fol. 147b
  2. Title: A mongoose being observed by a group of people
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 162a:

  1. W.652, fol. 162a
  2. Title: Men watching herons in flight
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 170a:

  1. W.652, fol. 170a
  2. Title: A prince entertained
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 179a:

  1. W.652, fol. 179a
  2. Title: A rhinoceros stabbing an elephant
  3. Form: Illustration


The binding is not original.

Light olive leather (no flap); onlaid central ovals and pendants


Purchase note: Acquired for Aṣghar ʿAlī by his father Ḥusayn for 310 tomans, dated 1305 AH / 1887-8 CE (fol. 1b)


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters bequest


Storey, C. A. Persian Literature: A Bio-Bibliographical Survey, Vol. 2. (London: Luzac, 1927- ), 126-127.

Grube, Ernst J. and Maria Alberta Fabris. Muslim Miniature Paintings from the XIII to XIX Century from Collections in the United States and Canada: Catalogue of the Exhibition. (Venezia: N. Pozza, 1962), 122-3.


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


The Walters Art Museum


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.