Robinson (1958, pp. 74-76), suggests a comparison with Vatican Ms. Pers. 118 (written by the calligrapher ‘Ali b. Nizam al-Damghani in 848/1444 in Yazd), also with no illustrations executed, but with lots of blank spaces left.
The manuscript has a colophon (f. 539v) with the name of the calligrapher ‘Abdulla b. Sha’ban b. Haydar al-Ashtarjani and the date: 4 Sha’ban 852/11 October 1448.
Binding: very luxurious (Robinson: ‘magnificent’) binding, seems to be European, imitating Persian with probably original Persian doublure in filigree style. When rebound a lot blank flyleaves were added to the front and at the back. Some traces of the original binding can be seen reflected on the flyleaf that formerly was the last one (now f. 540v).
The actual European binding has black leather outside covers decorated with a stamped design of a big central prolongated cartouche with a lion killing a bull in the middle and four corner decorations depicting a deer or a tiger/lion. A thin frame of floral design goes along the rim. The rather big flap has an image of a lion and a lioness and two deer – male and female. Inside covers are executed in filigree technique of dark brown leather over a blue and gold paper background.
Condition and order: The manuscript in very good condition. It could be restored in Europe; when rebound the order of leaves was disturbed.
A flyleaf in the front (f. 2) on both sides (sic) has very odd reflections of the illuminations which used to be on the pages opposite to them. The illuminations were similar to those on ff. 3v-4r: maybe they are the remains of a former frontispiece. In the bottom left corner of f. 2v there is a number (539) in European foliation. The manuscript suffered from water, especially at the beginning. It is now kept in a box with a label inside, saying that it was provided by the Friends of the Bodleian.
Provenance: flyleaf f. Ir has an inscription in pencil “bought from Quaritch for £ 36 in April 1886” and a stamp of the International exhibition of Persian art, London 1931. There are several seals, two in a shape of royal Ottoman tughra (f. 3r), some (like the one under the colophon) are scratched out.
Illuminations: ff. 3v-4r – double page illumination with the beginning of the prose introduction: sipas-u sitayish-i khuday-ra.... The incipit of the poem (f. 7v) is decorated with a comparatively small 'unvan, very rectangular, dark in palette with dominant very dark blue and small bits in terracotta, turquoise and gold.
The Introduction is rather short (ff. 3v-7r). The last story starts on f. 538r with the heading: Battle of Bizhan and Mahuy Suri. On f. 539r there is a short story (539r) started by the heading: Guftar andar ‘Umar Khatab va khatam-i kitab. Explicit standard (FA).