Contact us about this object
This fine small manuscript contains the Mathnawi-i Ma‘nawi (Spiritual Couplets), a lengthy compendium of anecdotes, stories, and ethical teachings infused with mystical inspiration that was composed in the 13th century by world-renowned poet and Sufi master Jalal al-Din Rumi.
In addition to its fine illumination and calligraphy, the codex is especially notable for its binding, contemporaneous with the manuscript and retaining the typical flap ending employed in Islamic manuscripts to protect the text-block. Made of leather covering cardboard, its surface is decorated with stamped motifs and a splendid gilt and lacquered composition featuring a dragon chasing a phoenix in a verdant forest.
Artist/makerJalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi (1207 - 1273) (author)
Date1582 (AH 990)
Material and technique
ink, colour, and gold on paper; bound in leather, stamped, and paper board, painted with gold, and coated with lacquer
Material indexprocessed material metal gold;
Dimensionsclosed 23.5 x 14.6 x 2.1 cm (height x width x depth)
No. of items
Bequeathed by Christopher T. Gandy, 2012.
Our online collection is being continually updated. Find out more
Know more about this object? Spotted an error? Contact us
Glossary of terms
Chinese and Japanese lacquer is made from the sap of the lacquer tree, which is indigenous to Eastern China. It is applied to wood as a varnish or for decorative effect. In India and the Middle East, lacquer is made from the deposit of the lac insect.
Mythical bird known as hōō in Japan. The Islamic tradition appropriated the far-eastern iconography of the phoenix and used it to represent another mythical bird, the simurgh.