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Walters Ms. W.655, Anthology of Persian poetry

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Anthology of Persian poetry

Text title
Muntakhabāt-i ashʿār

Vernacular: منتخبات اشعار


This is an illustrated collection of Persian poetry by such famous poets as Hāfiẓ, Saʿdī, Jāmī, and Ṣafā. It was executed in Qajar Iran in an oblong format in the thirteenth century AH / nineteenth CE. The text, which is incomplete at the beginning and at the end, is written in ploychrome shikastah script. Fifteen paintings illustrate the text. The goatskin binding is original to the manuscript.


Early 13th century AH / 19th CE






Literary -- Poetry


The primary language in this manuscript is Persian.

Support material


Laid paper with some leaves tinted


Foliation: i+131+i


7.0 cm wide by 13.0 cm high

Written surface

5.0 cm wide by 9.0 cm high

  1. Columns: 2
  2. Ruled lines: 6
  3. Text written obliquely and horizontally; framing lines in black, green, and red

fols. 1a - 131b:
  1. Title: Muntakhabāt-i ashʿār
  2. Text note: Incomplete at beginning and end; some leaves out of order; two clearly identified sections: Ḥasratnāmah-i Ṣafā (fol. 27b) and Ghazaliyāt-i Jāmī (fol. 45b)
  3. Hand note: Written in Shikastah script in black, red, blue, and white
  4. Decoration note: Fifteen illustrations; framing lines in black, green, and red


fol. 8b:

  1. W.655, fol. 8b
  2. Title: Bahrām Gūr kills a gazelle before Fitnah
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 9b:

  1. W.655, fol. 9b
  2. Title: A holy man with a young girl
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 11b:

  1. W.655, fol. 11b
  2. Title: Majnūn with the wild animals
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 12b:

  1. W.655, fol. 12b
  2. Title: Shīrīn visits Farhād engaged in cutting rocks
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 13b:

  1. W.655, fol. 13b
  2. Title: Khusraw watching Shīrīn bathing
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 14b:

  1. W.655, fol. 14b
  2. Title: A sleeping mother surrounded by her daughters (?)
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 16b:

  1. W.655, fol. 16b
  2. Title: A boy presents a flower
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 45a:

  1. W.655, fol. 45a
  2. Title: A woman with a cup of wine
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 49b:

  1. W.655, fol. 49b
  2. Title: A dervish with a bowl for alms
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 52b:

  1. W.655, fol. 52b
  2. Title: Majnūn with the wild animals
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 85b:

  1. W.655, fol. 85b
  2. Title: A youth offers a seal (?) to his teacher
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 97b:

  1. W.655, fol. 97b
  2. Title: Shīrīn admires the picture of Khusraw
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 100b:

  1. W.655, fol. 100b
  2. Title: Fitnah carries an ox on her shoulders as Bahrām Gūr watches
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 127b:

  1. W.655, fol. 127b
  2. Title: A teacher and pupils
  3. Form: Illustration


The binding is original.

Limp leather with painted cloth (no flap); Persian oblong (safīnah) format; floral decoration in the center panel


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters bequest


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.