Lot 109
  • 109

Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi (d.1273), the six books of the Mathnawi, Western Persia or Baghdad, circa 1300-50

15,000 - 20,000 GBP
23,750 GBP
bidding is closed


  • ink on paper with leather binding
  • 27 by 19.5cm.
Persian manuscript on paper, 252 leaves plus 2 flyleaves, 27 lines to the page, written in small and neat naskh script in black ink within 4 unruled columns, catchwords, key words, lines and headings in slightly larger thuluth script in red ink, numerous marginal glosses throughout, f.1a with an ovoid seal impression and various notes, brown morocco binding with central stamped cartouche filled with scrolling vines and chinoiserie cloud bands

Catalogue Note

Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi was a Persian poet, jurist, Islamic scholar and Sufi mystic. Rumi was born either in the village of Waksh in the greater Balkh region in present-day Tajikistan or the city of Balkh located in present-day Afghanistan. Greater Balkh was at the time a major centre of Persian culture and Sufism, and he was influenced by the Persian poets ‘Attar and Sanai. He wrote his major work, Mathnavi Ma’navi in six volumes containing twenty-seven thousand lines of mystical poetry.

The present manuscript is one of two early copies of Rumi in the collection of Jafar Ghazi (the other being a Diwan-e Shams, offered as lot 106). Although there is no colophon, the work to hand displays a particular textual construction and scriptural style that places it in the first half of the fourteenth century. One can compare the layout and style of the angular naskh script with that of early versions of the Shahnameh - see for example a leaf from the 'First Small Shahnameh' (circa 1300-30 AD) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (published in L. Komaroff and S. Carboni, The Legacy of Genghis Khan, New York, 2002, p.151, no.176), as well as three leaves from 'Second Small Shahnameh' (circa 1300 AD) the sold in these rooms, 9 October 2013, lot 81; 3 October 2012, lot 66 and 6 April 2011, lot 33. Given that Rumi died in 1273 AD, this manuscript can be considered an early work, most likely executed roughly fifty years after his death.