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Kitāb al-ʻajāʾib wa al-gharāʼib
کتاب العجايب والغرائب, 1553

Qazwīnī, Zakarīyā ibn Muḥammad, approximately 1203-1283.

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  • Title:
    Kitāb al-ʻajāʾib wa al-gharāʼib

    کتاب العجايب والغرائب, 1553
  • Variant Title: Book of Wonders and Oddities
  • Author/Creator: Qazwīnī, Zakarīyā ibn Muḥammad, approximately 1203-1283.
  • Creation Date: 1553
  • Physical Desc.: [i], 321 p. : ill. (watercolor, gouache) ; 26 cm.
  • Summary: The manuscript incorporates the cosmography ʻAjāʼib al-makhlūqāt wa al-gharāʼib al-mawjūdāt composed by Zakarīyā ibn Muḥammad al-Qazwīnī.
    The miniatures depict constellations, zodiacal signs, celestial entities, animals, and fabulous creatures. The last illustration shows the earth carried by an ox that stands on a fish floating in the ocean (page 311).
  • Language Note: Persian, Arabic, and Azeri, a Turkish dialect in use in Azerbaijan.
  • Additional Formats: Kitāb al-ʻajāʾib wa al-gharāʼib (
  • Notes: Dated Dhu al-Qi'dah 960 in the colophon and title inscribed within headpiece on page 1.
    Collation with catchwords in the lower left corner of each recto, one column, 17 lines, written in black and red ink in naskhi script; pages numbered in Arabic.
    Illustrated with miniatures (148), which are captioned in red ink in the margin, and with diagrams and calendar tables. On list of miniatures, see Lawrence J. Schoenberg database of late medieval and early modern manuscripts, LJS 050.
    Manuscript titled "Wonders of Creation" in Transformation of knowledge (2006), 134:8; ʻAjāʼib al-makhlūqāt wa al-gharāʼib al-mawjūdāt is also known as "Marvels of things created and miraculous aspects of things existing."
    Includes two leaves of front free endpaper and one leaf of back free endpaper. Page 321 is unnumbered.
    Gift of Lawrence J. Schoenberg.
    Binding Note: Possibly 18th-century goatskin binding with gilt and blind-stamped lozenge-shaped ornament with arabesque at center of upper and lower covers.
    Unidentified tughra (woodcut exlibris) stamps on page [i]; acquired by Edward Everett Ayer (1841-1927) in the late 19th century; donated in 1920 by Ayer to the Newberry Library, Chicago (Or Ms 551). In 1994, the Newberry Library deaccessioned a portion of the Edward Everett Ayer Collection, offering it for sale at Christie's London (Islamic art, Oct. 18 1994), where it was acquired by Sam Fogg; purchased from Fogg by Lawrence J. Schoenberg in 1996, in which collection it was identified as LJS 050; donated by Schoenberg to the Getty Research Library in 2009.
  • Form/Genre: Illuminated manuscripts--Azerbaijan--16th century.
    Illuminated manuscripts--Islamic empire.
    Encyclopedias--Islamic empire.
  • Subjects: Curiosities and wonders. Cosmography. Islamic cosmology.
  • Format: Text
  • Contributors: Ayer, Edward Everett, 1841-1927, former owner.
    Fogg, Sam, former owner.
    Schoenberg, Lawrence J., former owner.
    Newberry Library, former owner.
  • ID/Accession Number: 2010.M.65
  • Use Restrictions: Digital images and files saved from this website should be suitable for most purposes.
    For more information, see the Library Reproductions & Permissions page.

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