Manuscript that ended up in the Baburid library

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Manuscript that ended up in the Baburid library

In the manuscript that ended up in the Baburid library one can see the seal of Shihab ad-Din Shah Jahan (who ruled in 1628 – 1658) and an inscription in his own hand stating that this book “on (...) the 8th Jumàda second 1030 since the hijra, on the day of his coronation entered the library of Shah Jahan (...) with a price of 1500 rupiah”.

Manuscript that ended up in the Baburid library

The manuscript seems previously to have been in the libraries of emperors Akbar and Jahangir and according to a note written in Lahore the book was a gift of a Mir Tahir.

On the rectangular frame of the page, two amorous poems (ghazals) of Amir Shahi were copied in the 16th century, or even rewritten later. They are partly calligraphed with white paint. In the middle of these pages are paintings showing Shahi, who begs his beloved not to go on a journey and Shahi holding back his beloved by gripping the hem of her coat. 

An inscription probably added afterwards indicates ‘amal-i Shaykh-zada (work of Shaykh-zada). This very doubtful attribution to a famous painter could have been added later in India. But the state of the paintings, restored or even repainted, does not allow a definitive conclusion.

You can learn more about the topic in the book-album "Illustrated manuscripts from Mawarannahr in the collections of France" (Volume XXIX) in the series "The Cultural Legacy of Uzbekistan".

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