Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

IO Islamic 3729 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

India Office Library

Qissah-ye Kamrup, illustrated


1 copy of Falak-i aʿẓam

Persian romantic mas̲navī retelling and recasting the story of the enchanted lovers, Prince Kāmrūp (heir to the throne of Awadh) and Princess Kāmalatā. Although endorsed incorrectly by later owners as the Qiṣṣah-'i Kāmrūp, the work is distinct from the mid-seventeenth-century Qiṣṣah-'i Kāmrūp of Muḥammad Kāẓim Ḥusaynī "Karīm" produced for the Golkonda ruler, ʿAbd Allāh Quṭb Shāh, and the Dastūr-i Himmat of Muḥammad Murād produced later in the century

The poet's name or takhalluṣ is not clear, but he does confirm that his work was commissioned by an unnamed courtly patron, and that he completed the poem in 1157/1744-5. The date of the brief colophon suggests the work was produced towards the end of the reign of the Timurid or Mughal ruler, Emperor Muḥammad Shāh, who most likely commissioned this lavishly illuminated, illustrated, and calligraphic copy between the years 1745-7

This volume consists of versified text in fine nastaʿlīq arranged in two columns, illuminated opening with sarlawḥ (f. 1v), with 40 half and three-quarter size illustrations in the style of court painters, such as Chitarman, Govardhan II, and Faqīr Allāh Khān, although some connexion with Awadh cannot be ruled out. The painting on f. 90v in a southern Rajput style that is typical of Bundi suggests the cycle of illustrations was not complete at the time the manuscript began circulating among later owners

Dated colophon (f. 206v): 19 Z̲ī Qaʿdah year 27 of the auspicious reign/circa December 1745

Square personal seal at beginning and end: Gaj Bihārī 1266

IOL stamp dated 12 Aug. 1907

Stained and discolouration in parts

Tooled green theather binding, damaged

Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 206 ff.
Dimensions (leaf): 276 × 172 mm.
Dimensions (written):



Origin: 19 Z̲ī Qaʿdah regnal year 27 (December 1745 - 1750) AH Delhi ; India


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Funding of Cataloguing



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