Shelfmark: Ann Arbor, University of Michigan, Special Collections Research Center Isl. Ms. 228
Origin: As appears in colophon, executed by Muḥammad ibn ʻAlī [ibn Aḥmad] al-Ziftāwī in the first tenth of Muḥarram 783 [March-April 1381].
Binding: Pasteboards covered in a light brown leather ; Western style binding ; pastedowns and flyleaves in heavy untinted wove paper ; upper and lower covers carry decoration evoking the Islamic style with central oval ornament (wreath stamped in green) and cornerpieces (scrolling vegetal motifs stamped in green) as well as stamped border of repeating floral / shell pattern in red ; sewn in white thread over three heavy white cords (flexible sewing) ; no endbands ; paper label on spine ; in fairly good condition though sewing exposed between a few separated gatherings.
Support: non-European (Arab) laid paper with chain lines grouped in threes running horizontally, spaced roughly 12-15 mm. apart with roughly 42 mm. between the groups ; laid lines running vertically spaced roughly 9 laid lines per cm. ; heavy and well-burnished with undissolved fibers and inclusions visible ; staining ; numerous reinforcements and repairs throughout, mainly guards but also fills (see first folio carrying the titlepiece and opening).
Decoration: Exquisite, richly illuminated titlepiece ; ansa in the form of roundel with rosette attached to upper panel, which is surmounted by fine arabesque and vertical stalks in blue, lavender, gold, green, etc. ; upper panel contains cartouche carrying title in foliated Kufic lettered in gold on a field of blue with green swirling vegetal pattern ; lower panel contains large scalloped medallion (shamsah) carrying statement of authorship and ex libris lettered in gold with lined cloud-bands and vegetal accents, surrounded by a field of blue with floral vegetal design in gold, lavender, and green ; decorative strapwork border in gold surrounds entire piece ; illuminated headpiece consisting of a rectangular panel with roundel/rosette ansa ; within the panel, the basmalah is executed in gold accented with cloud-bands and cross-hatch pattern ; illuminated tailpiece consists of a rectangular panel with roundel/rosette ansa ; within the panel two roundels with rosettes flank the date of transcription accented with cloud-bands and cross-hatch pattern ; a red rule-border outlines the text itself, with illuminated rosettes flanking the lines of the amplification (takhmīs) ; on the opening and facing page, rosettes in blue and gold along with roundel in gold bearing word "تخميس" [?] ; text partially chrysographed with final words of each line in gold.
Script: Very fine Mamlūk calligraphy ; saṭr and first words of ʻajuz for each bayt in thuluth (verging on tawqīʻ), final words of ʻajuz in tawqīʻ and amplification in serifless naskh ; text and takhmīs fully vocalized ; title of titlepiece in foliated Kufic ; ex libris of titlepiece in tawqīʻ ; text of tailpiece in riqāʻ verging on tawqīʻ.
Layout: Written in 12 lines per page, 3 lines of the poem and 9 of the amplification, with the saṭr and first few words of the ʻajuz of each bayt filling the column width horizontally and the remainder of the ʻajuz appended slanting down diagonally, and three lines of amplification centered below the saṭr and first few words of the ʻajuz ; frame-ruled.
Collation: i, III (6), II (4), 4 I(18), I+1 (21), 2 I(25), I+1 (28), i ; difficult to discern original gatherings, but appears to consist mainly in single bifolia (singulions) ; no catchwords present ; pagination in pencil, Western numerals, supplied during cataloguing.
Colophon: "Scribal," reads: "تمت مع التخميس بحمد الله وعونه وصلى الله على نبيه محمد كتبها محمد بن علي الشهير بالزفتاوي عفا الله عنه بكرمه في العشر الاول من شهر الله المحرم افتتاح عام ثلاث وثمانين وسبعمائة حسبنا الله ونعم الوكيل"
Explicit: "ما رنحت عذبات البان ريح صبا واطرب العيس حادي العيس بالنغم"
Incipit: "بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم الحمد لله رب العالمين ما بال قلبك لا ينفك ذا ألم ... امن تذكر جيران بذي سلم مزجت دمعا جرى من مقلة بدم ..."
Title from titlepiece.
An elegant copy of al-Būṣīrī's poem in praise of the Prophet with its amplification (takhmīs) by Nāṣir al-Dīn Muḥammad al-Fayyūmī (mid-14th century), as well as a fine specimen of Mamlūk calligraphy as executed by al-Ziftāwī (d.806/1403 or 4).