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Walters Ms. W.621, The orchard (Bustan)

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Shelf mark



The orchard (Bustan)

Text title
Kitāb-i būstān

Vernacular: كتاب بوستان


Authority name: Saʿdī

As-written name: Musharrif al-Dīn ibn Muṣliḥ Saʿdī Shīrāzī

Name, in vernacular: مشرف الدين بن مصلح سعدي شيرازي

Note: Author dates preferred by cataloger: d. 691 AH / 1292 CE


This is an illuminated and illustrated manuscript of the Būstān (The garden or The orchard) by the Persian poet Sa‘dī (d. 691 AH / 1292 CE). It dates to the tenth century AH / sixteenth CE and was produced in Iran. The text is written in black nasta‘līq script with gold chapter headings on cream and pink tinted paper. The codex opens with an illuminated titlepiece with the author's name (fol. 2b), and there are three illustrations (fols. 13a, 39a, and 92a). The lacquer binding is decorated with polychrome floral motifs. Its doublures have blue filigree work in the central ovals and cornerpieces. It is attributable to the tenth century AH / sixteenth CE and may be original to the manuscript.


10th century AH / 16th CE






Literary -- Poetry


The primary language in this manuscript is Persian.

Support material


Cream and pink tinted laid paper


Foliation: 116


Catchwords: Written on versos


16.0 cm wide by 27.0 cm high

Written surface

7.0 cm wide by 18.5 cm high

  1. Columns: 2
  2. Ruled lines: 16
  3. Framing lines in blue, gold, and black

fols. 2b - 115b:
  1. Title: Kitāb-i būstān
  2. Author: Saʿdī
  3. Incipit: بنام خداوندجان افرين...
  4. Hand note: Written in black nastaʿlīq script with gold chapter headings
  5. Decoration note: Three illustrations (fols. 13a, 39a, and 92a); illuminated titlepiece with author's name, inscribed Kitāb-i būstān-i Shaykh-i Saʿdī, in gold tawqīʿ script (fol. 2b); framing lines in blue, gold, and black


Upper board outside:

  1. W.621, Upper board outside
  2. Title: Binding
  3. Form: Binding
  4. Label: This lacquer binding is decorated with polychrome floral motifs. It probably dates to the tenth century AH / sixteenth CE.

fol. 2b:

  1. W.621, fol. 2b
  2. Title: Incipit page with illuminated titlepiece
  3. Form: Incipit; titlepiece
  4. Label: This incipit page has an illuminated titlepiece inscribed Kitāb-i būstān-i Shaykh-i Saʿdī in gold tawqīʿ script.

fol. 13a:

  1. W.621, fol. 13a
  2. Title: A peasant brought before a tyrant king and ordered to be executed
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 39a:

  1. W.621, fol. 39a
  2. Title: A dervish expressing his devotion
  3. Form: Illustration

fol. 92a:

  1. W.621, fol. 92a
  2. Title: King Ṭughral being served wine by his servant
  3. Form: Illustration


The binding is original.

Attributable to the tenth century AH / sixteenth CE; lacquer (with flap); polychrome floral motifs on a black ground; doublures with blue filigree work in central ovals and cornerpieces


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters bequest


Richard, Francis. Catalogue des manuscrits persans. (Paris: Bibliothèque nationale, 1989), no.147.


Principal cataloger: Gacek, Adam

Catalogers: Landau, Amy; Smith, Sita

Editor: Bockrath, Diane

Conservators: Jewell, Stephanie; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Barrera, Christina; Emery, Doug; Herbert, Lynley; Noel, William; Simpson, Shreve; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.; Valle, Chiara


The Walters Art Museum


Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/legalcode. It is requested that copies of any published articles based on the information in this data set be sent to the curator of manuscripts, The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21201.