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[RAS Persian 310] The Masnavi of Zafar Khan


Kitab-i Mathnawiyyat-i Zafar Khan (RAS Persian 310). An autograph copy of the verses of Ahsanallah b. Abu ‘l-Hasan entitled Zafar Khan with the nom de plume of Ahsan (fl.1633-1647), a noble at the court of Shah Jehan who succeeded his father as governor of Kashmir in 1633. Lahore: dated 26 Dhu ‘l-Hijja 1073 [1663 CE]. Nasta’liq. Fol. 123, not including blank pages before and after text. 15 lines to the page in two columns. 10.25 by 6 inches.

The margins of ff. 1-44 are decorated with flowers and cloud scrolls but the remaining folios have not been completed with only outline drawings visible. Headings in gold, in the earlier part outlined in black on illuminated panels. Gold ruled margins and verse dividers, with some illumination. Richly illuminated initial openings of both mathanwis, the margins of the second one filled with plants in colours. Similar plants in gold in the margins of the earlier parts of both mathnawis. In the second one similar flowers are pencilled in on the margins of a further section. They have evidently been produced with the aid of pounces or stencils, preparatory to the application of the gold.

This manuscript was digitized thanks to the support of Dr Barbara Brend. It is also available online at Cambridge University Digital Library: https://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/MS-RAS-00310/1

The miniature paintings from this manuscript are also available here: //royalasiaticcollections.org/collection/manuscript-illustrations/

Please note that the digital library paginates manuscripts left to right, even when the manuscripts display from right to left. This means that the manuscripts start on the last numbered page, and progress with the left arrow takes the viewer with lowering page numbers to the end of the manuscript. Folio numbers are to be found in a concordance here: Masnavi Concordance. Folio numbers are to used in all academic work and for ordering images.