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Walters Ms. W.631, Collection of poems (divan)

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Collection of poems (divan)

Text title
Dīvān-i Ḥāfiẓ

Vernacular: ديوان حافظ


Authority name: Ḥāfiẓ, 14th cent.

As-written name: Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥāfiz al-Shīrāzī

Name, in vernacular: شمس الدين محمد حافظ الشيرازي

Note: Author dates preferred by cataloger: fl. 8th century AH / 14th CE


This is an illuminated and illustrated copy of the collection of poems (dīvān) by Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥāfiz al-Shīrāzī (fl. eighth century AH / fourteenth CE). The text is written in nasta‘līq script and is dated to the end of Ṣafar 946 AH / 1539 CE. The manuscript opens with a double-page illustrated frontispiece of an enthroned King Solomon (Sulaymān) and Queen Sheba (Bilqīs) (fols. 2b-3a), followed by an illuminated incipit with titlepiece inscribed Dīvān-i Ḥāfiẓ. There are two additional illustrations of figures conversing and drinking in outdoor landscapes (fols. 114a and 150b). The dark brown leather binding, which is original to the manuscript, is panel-stamped in relief with a central lobed medallion with pendants and an allover floral and vine decoration.


End of Ṣafar 946 AH / 1539 CE






Literary -- Poetry


The primary language in this manuscript is Persian.

fol. 172a:
  1. Transliteration: tammat [sic] al-kitāb bi-ʿawni Allāhi al-maliki al-wahhāb wa-ṣallá Allāh /1/ ʿalá khayr khalqih Muḥammad wa-ālihi ajmaʿin wa-al-ḥamd li-Llāhi /2/ rabbi al-ʿālamīn fī ta<ʾ>rīkh salkhi /3/ Ṣafar khutima [sic] bi-al-khayr wa-al-ẓafar /4/ sanat 946 /5/ m [=tamma] m [=tamma] m [=tamma] /6/
  2. Comment: Partly vocalized in Arabic in the shape of a triangle; gives date of copying

Support material


Laid paper


Foliation: i+172+ii


Catchwords: Written obliquely on versos



13.0 cm wide by 22.0 cm high

Written surface

6.0 cm wide by 13.0 cm high

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

fols. 2b - 172a:
  1. Title: Dīvān-i Ḥāfiẓ
  2. Author: Ḥāfiẓ, 14th cent.
  3. Incipit: الا يا ايها الساقى ادر كاسا وناولها...
  4. Text note: One folio with miniature missing after fol. 80
  5. Hand note: Written in nastaʿlīq script in black ink with section headings in blue and gold
  6. Decoration note: Double-page illustrated frontispiece (fols. 2b-3a); two text illustrations (fols. 114a and 150b); illuminated incipit with titlepiece inscribed Dīvān-i Ḥāfiẓ and interlinear illumination (fol. 3b); section headings; framing lines in blue, gold, red, and black


fol. 2b:

  1. W.631, fol. 2b
  2. Title: Right side of a double-page illustrated frontispiece depicting King Solomon (Sulaymān) enthroned
  3. Form: Frontispiece; illustration
  4. Label: The right side of this double-page illustrated frontispiece depicts King Solomon (Sulaymān) enthroned. He is surrounded by the beasts over which he reigns, including dīvs and birds, mostly likely the hoopoe. Angels are above. At some point in the manuscript's history, figures' faces seem to have been purposefully erased.

fol. 3a:

  1. W.631, fol. 3a
  2. Title: Left side of a double-page illustrated frontispiece depicting Queen Sheba (Bilqīs) enthroned
  3. Form: Frontispiece; illustration
  4. Label: The left side of this double-page illustrated frontispiece depicts Queen Sheba (Bilqīs) enthroned. She is surrounded by attendants and animals, both real and fantastic. Above her is a flying mythical bird (sīmurgh).

fol. 3b:

  1. W.631, fol. 3b
  2. Title: Illuminated incipit page with titlepiece
  3. Form: Incipit; titlepiece
  4. Label: This illuminated incipit page has a titlepiece inscribed with the title Dīvān-i Ḥāfiẓ in white nasta‘līq script. It is also decorated with interlinear illumination and a heading with polychrome decoration. There is an erased seal at the right.

fol. 114a:

  1. W.631, fol. 114a
  2. Title: A garden reception (majlis)
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Label: A princely figure is shown in female and male company. All male figures with the exception of one in a blue cloak wear the early Safavid headgear defined by a high red baton. The participants are drinking wine. The standing figure held steady by another is clearly inebriated. It is possible that the seated figure in blue represents the poet Ḥāfiẓ.

fol. 150b:

  1. W.631, fol. 150b
  2. Title: A garden reception (majlis)
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Label: In this scene, figures are seated in a garden landscape dressed in the early Safavid style drinking wine. The verses before and after the illustration are in white nasta‘līq script on a gold ground. The borders are decorated in an illuminated floral pattern, perhaps stenciled.


The binding is original.

Dark brown leather (with flap) with gold-brushed central panel and frames panel-stamped in relief; central panel with lobed medallion and pendants and an allover floral and vine decoration


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters bequest


Gacek, Adam. Persian Manuscripts in the Libraries of McGill University: Brief Union Catalogue. (Montreal: McGill University Libraries, 2005), no. 39.

Richard, Francis. Catalogue des manuscrits persans. (Paris: Bibliothèque nationale, 1989), nos. 244, 270-4, 318; 2: 326-8.


Principal cataloger: Gacek, Adam

Catalogers: Landau, Amy; Smith, Sita

Copy 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.