Shelfmark: Ann Arbor, University of Michigan, Special Collections Research Center Isl. Ms. 271
Origin: Versified chronogram at end (fol.182b, "اخلاق محسنى") gives dating for completion of composition; this reading, without the preposition "ز", yields the more widely accepted date of 900 H. As appears in colophon on fol.182b, copied by Maḥmūd ibn Najīb. Transcription finished ("tamma al-kitāb bi-ʻawn al-Malik al-Wahhāb taḥrīran fī tārīkh...") 12 Rabīʻ I 922 [ca. 15 April 1516].
Binding: Pasteboard covered in red-brown leather; Type II binding (with flap); upper and lower covers bear gold-stamped central mandorla (Déroche class. NSh1) with pendants and simple gold rule-border; smaller mandorla on envelope flap; doublures in light-blue coated paper embossed with vegetal pattern; in good condition.
Support: Persian laid paper; laid lines oriented vertically but too faint to count; chain lines not visible; flyleaves are fashioned from a light-blue coated paper, embossed with a vegetal pattern, that is also used for the doublures.
Decoration: Illuminated headpiece on fol.2b; marvelously rendered in two rectangular panels; lower panel contains the basmalah, executed in red nastaʻlīq, in a central cartouche flanked by two, smaller palmette-like lozenges; lower panel is framed by an elaborite golden braid; background is predominantly lapis-lazuli, with vegetal/floral patterns executed in gold, red, pink, green, black, and white; upper panel continues the background motif and color palette; three small, predominantly black, palmette-like lozenges serve as the pivot for the repeating vegetal pattern in this panel, but these are subdued figures and are rather absorbed into the lapis-lazuli background and intriquate vine patterns; upper panel is surmounted by five verticle, decorative stalks; written area framed by a rule-border in dark blue, black, and gold; gold frames set off verses and some chapter titles; text is polychrome, with main text in black, Arabic quotations in dark blue, gold, and occasionally red, and chapter titles in dark blue or gold; the words "شعر" and "بيت" as they occur throughout the text introducing verses of poetry are rendered in red and blue, and occasionally, gold; main text of incipit page decorated with gilt cloudbands.
Script: Main text in nastaʻlīq; chapter headings in tawqīʻ; Arabic quotations of Qur'anic verses and Hadith in naskh and vocalized; basmalah in cartouche of illuminated headpiece in nastaʻlīq.
Layout: Written in 15 lines per page.
Collation: ii, 23 IV (184), i; quaternions; cacthwords present; pagination in pencil, Western numerals, referenced in cataloguing; foliation in red ink, Hindu-Arabic numerals, begins with ١ on fol.3a (Western pagination) and concludes with ١۸۰ on fol.182a; fihrist of chapter titles (fol.6a-7a) corresponds with foliation.
Dedication: Composed for Shāh Abū al-Muḥsin (شاه ابو المحسن ), one of the sons of the Tīmūrid pādishāh Ḥusayn Bāyqarā, on the occasion of his coming to court (in Herat) from Marv (see fol.4a-4b, Western pagination).
Colophon: "Scribal," triangular, in Arabic, reads: "رب اختم بالخير والحسنى تمت [كذا] الكتاب بعون الملك الوهاب تحريرا في تاريخ اثنى عشر شهر ربيع الاول سنه اثنى عشرين و تسعمايه بخط العبد الحبيب [المجيب ؟] محمود بن نجيب"
Explicit: "با خامه گفتم ای كه زهر ساختى قدم وز مقدم تو چشم سخن يافت روشنى اخلاق محسنى بتامى نوشته تاريخ هم نويس ز اخلاق محسنى"
Incipit: "حضرت يادشاه على الاطلاق غرت كلمته و جلت عظمته منشور دولت سلطان المرسلين"
Title from opening on fol.5a.
A work on ethics in 40 chapters, composed by Kāshifī for Shāh Abū al-Muḥsin, a son of Sulṭān Ḥusayn Bāyqarā. Description provided by Derek Mancini-Lander.