Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

IO Islamic 4044 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

Irvine Collection

Insha'-i Harkarn


1 copy of Inshāʾ-i Harikaran

Fragment corresponding to the opening of a much larger collection of formal inshāʾ or epistolary arts and official letters from the period of the Timurid or Mughal Emperor Jahāngīr (d. 1627)

Consists of the standard recension of the preface, except for the inclusion of anachronistic references to the reigning monarch, Emperor Muḥammad Shāh (d. 1748), and the omission of the section on organisation into bābs or chapters. This is followed by 3 letters with anachronistic references dating them to the early eighteenth century, with mention of Prince Rafīʿ al-Dawlah, Prince Sulṭān Muʿizz al-Dīn, and the same Sulṭān Muʿizz al-Dīn as Emperor Jahāndār Shāh with Kūkaltāsh Khān and Prince ʿAẓīm al-Shaʾn Bahādur

According to William Irvine, the fragment is suspected to be a forgery

Not dated

Language(s): Persian

Transcribed by order of G. J. Nicholls, Judge at Farrukhabad, from a manuscript obtained from Agra

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 4 ff.
Dimensions (leaf): 175 × 275 mm.


Clear nastaʿlīq

. Scribe: [Muḥammad] ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz of Bhitrī (?)


Notes by William Irvine (f. 1v)



Origin: 19th century CE ; India

Provenance and Acquisition

William Irvine

Muḥammad ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz of Bhitrī


William Irvine

Record Sources

Based on unpublished description in Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts in the India Office Library, vol. 3. Available on British Library Digitised Manuscripts, manuscript number: MSS Eur E207/9 9_79r


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