Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Illuminated margin and interlinear gilt text (illumination and gilt recto; text verso of folio 91), folio from a manuscript of the Mathnavi Ma‘navi by Maulana Jalal al-Din Rumi
Other Titles
Series/Book Title: Manuscript of the Mathnavi Ma‘navi by Maulana Jalal al-Din Rumi
Work Type
manuscript folio
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran, Qazvin?
Safavid period
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Ink, colors, and gold on paper
24 × 14 cm (9 7/16 × 5 1/2 in.)
Ezzat-Malek Soudavar, Geneva, Switzerland (by 2014), by descent; to her son Abolala Soudavar, Houston, Texas (2014), loan; to Harvard Art Museums, 2015.

Ezzat-Malek Soudavar (1913-2014) formed this collection over a period of sixty years. She purchased the works of art on the international art market.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Loan from A. Soudavar in memory of his mother Ezzat-Malek Soudavar
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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The manuscript opens with a lavishly gilded and richly illuminated double-page frontispiece. The text is copied in naskh in four columns and twenty-five lines to a page.
Four other headings at the beginning of each chapter (daftar) are exquisitely illuminated and enclosed in floral decorations on the margins.
The colophons at the end of these books indicate that they were finished in Rabi II 1019 (June-July 1610), 7 Shawwal 1019 (23 December 1610), 25 Dhu al-hijjah 1020 (28 February 1612), 8 Rabi II 1024 (7 May 1615) spanning five years.
The light brown binding with lighter-tone flap has a gilt-stamped central medallion depicting a bird on a tree, a rabbit and a fox. The inner covers of burgundy color carry a central medallion and pendants, which are decorated with arabesque filigrees on blue, green and white grounds.
During the binding repair the lower board has been installed upside-down
Related Works

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