Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Or. 12988 (St. Pancras, British Library)

Asian and African Studies Oriental Manuscripts


1 copy of Akbarnāmah by Abū al-Faz̤l ibn Mubārak, 1551-1602

Volume 1

A note at the foot of one miniature mentions the 47th RY of Akbar

Language(s): Persian


For a more detailed description see Meredith-Owens 1968, page 19.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 163 ff
Dimensions (leaf): 41.3 × 28.4 cm.


40 miniatures,

1 Illumination

Covers painted and lacquered in a floral design and signed by ' Abdullah al-Faryumadī,' "an artist of Mashhad," 1249.

Marginal paintings of angels and other figures.

The infant Akbar placed in the care of his nurses by his mother Maryam Makānī. Sānwlah.

Akbar and Maryam Makānī in Humāyūn's camp (1542). Drawing by Sānwlah, portraits by Narsingh.

Ādam in a landscape. Outline by Nānhā, remainder by 'Ināyat.

The body of Chingīz Khān carried in a box while his officers kill bystanders in order to keep his death secret (1227). Manohar.

Astrologers casting horoscopes during the celebrations for the birth of Timūr (1336). Sūrdās Gujarātī.

Bāyazīd I brought before Timūr (1402). Manṣūr Naḳḳāsh.

Bābur setting out from Kabul to attack Kandahar (1504). Sūrdās Gujarātī.

Battle of Panipat between Bābur and Sulṭān Ibrāhim Lodī (1526). Mukund.

Humāyūn paying homage to Bābur when he arrived at Agra from Jaunpur before the battle with Rāṇā Sangā (1527). Portraits by Sānwlah, remainder by Sūrdās Gujarātī.

Defeat of Rāṇā Sangā (1527). Dharmdās.

Bābur appointing Humāyūn as his successor (1530). La'l.

Humāyūn defeating Sulṭān Bahādur at Gujarat (1535). Portraits by Narsingh, remainder by Dharmdās.

Humāyūn's army routing Sulṭān Bahādur and his army at Champaner Fort (1535). Farrukh Chela.

Defeat of 'Imad al-Mulk Gujarātī by Yādgār Nāṣir Mīrzā (1536). La'l.

Sulṭān Bahādur and Rūmī Khān jumping into the sea when surrounded by Portuguese boats (1537). La'l.

The army of Humāyūn capturing the fort at Chunar (1538). La'l.

Humāyūn's march to Bengal (1538). Miskīneh.

Niẓam the watercarrier helping Humāyūn to cross the Ganges (1539). Dharmdās.

Niẓam enthroned for half a day by Humāyūn as a reward for his assistance (1539). Dharmdās.

The elephant Girdbāz hit by a cannon ball when used by the Afghans to break up the bridge of boats of Bhojpur (1540) Dharmdās.

Muḥammad Khān entertaining Humāyūn at Herat (1544). Priniciple portraits by Narsingh, remainder by Farrukh.

Humāyūn received by Shah Ṭahmāsp (1544). Sānwlah.

Shah Ṭahmāsp and Humāyūn hunting together (1544). Principle portraits by Narsingh, remainder by Ganga Sen.

Mīrzā 'Askarī with his sword slung round his neck surrendering to Humāyūn at Kandahar (1545). Sūrdās.

Humāyūn's army entering Kabul (1545). Principle portraits by Narsingh, remainder by Ustād Manṣūr.

Humāyūn with his retinue at Kabul (1545). Ustād Manṣūr.

The young Akbar presented to Humāyūn at Kabul (1545). Manṣūr.

Humāyūn at the celebration held at the time of Akbar's circumcision (1545). By Narsingh and Mādhū.

Humāyūn conquering Badakhshan (1546). Dharmdās.

Humāyūn restoring the baggage of a plundered caravan to its owners during the siege of Kabul (1547). Miskīneh.

A cockerel perching on Humāyūn's shoulder in the ewer room is seen as an omen of victory before Humāyūn left for Badakhshan (1548). Narsingh.

Musāḥib Beg with his quiver and sword round his neck when rebel officers were brought before Humāyūn after the victory in Badakhshan (1548). Narsingh. Principle portraits by Mādhū, remainder by Khem.

Mīrzā Khān making his submission to Humāyūn (1548). Manohar.

Humāyūn standing on rising ground watching his army in combat with Mīrzā Kāmrān's troops (1550). Khem Karan. Date twenty-first Sha'ban 1012 (i.e. fourth Ilāhī year).

Mīrzā Sulaimān and Mīrzā Ibrāhīm paying homage to Humāyūn at Andarab (1550). Shankar.

Mīrzā Kāmrān receiving news on the battlefield (1550). Portraits by Sūrdās, remainder by Karim Dād.

Humāyūn's troops plundering Mīrzā Kāmrān's camp (1551). Hīrānand.

Mīrzā Kāmrān and Afghan soldiers carrying out a reprisal raid on Humāyūn's camp (1551). Khem Karan.

Bairām Khān watching Akbar learning to shoot (1555). Govardhan.


Lacquered binding


Origin: Early 17th century CE

Record Sources

Manuscript description based on G. M. Meredith-Owens: Handlist of Persian manuscripts 1895-1966. London, 1968, with additional enhancements.


Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card. For admissions procedures contact British Library, Registering for a Reader Pass). Contact apac-enquiries@bl.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript

Funding of Cataloguing



Comment on this record

Please fill out your details.

How are we using your feedback? See our privacy policy.