Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Or 12988 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

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.

f. 2r Marginal paintings of angels and other figures.

f. 20v The infant Akbar placed in the care of his nurses by his mother Maryam Makānī. Sānwlah.

f. 22r Akbar and Maryam Makānī in Humāyūn's camp (1542). Drawing by Sānwlah, portraits by Narsingh.

f. 25r Ādam in a landscape. Outline by Nānhā, remainder by 'Ināyat.

f. 32r The body of Chingīz Khān carried in a box while his officers kill bystanders in order to keep his death secret (1227). Manohar.

f. 34v Astrologers casting horoscopes during the celebrations for the birth of Timūr (1336). Sūrdās Gujarātī.

f. 35v Bāyazīd I brought before Timūr (1402). Manṣūr Naḳḳāsh.

f. 40r Bābur setting out from Kabul to attack Kandahar (1504). Sūrdās Gujarātī.

f. 44r Battle of Panipat between Bābur and Sulṭān Ibrāhim Lodī (1526). Mukund.

f. 47v 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.

f. 50r Defeat of Rāṇā Sangā (1527). Dharmdās.

f. 53r Bābur appointing Humāyūn as his successor (1530). La'l.

f. 59v Humāyūn defeating Sulṭān Bahādur at Gujarat (1535). Portraits by Narsingh, remainder by Dharmdās.

f. 61r Humāyūn's army routing Sulṭān Bahādur and his army at Champaner Fort (1535). Farrukh Chela.

f. 63v Defeat of 'Imad al-Mulk Gujarātī by Yādgār Nāṣir Mīrzā (1536). La'l.

f. 66r Sulṭān Bahādur and Rūmī Khān jumping into the sea when surrounded by Portuguese boats (1537). La'l.

f. 68v The army of Humāyūn capturing the fort at Chunar (1538). La'l.

f. 69v Humāyūn's march to Bengal (1538). Miskīneh.

f. 73r Niẓam the watercarrier helping Humāyūn to cross the Ganges (1539). Dharmdās.

f. 73v Niẓam enthroned for half a day by Humāyūn as a reward for his assistance (1539). Dharmdās.

f. 76r The elephant Girdbāz hit by a cannon ball when used by the Afghans to break up the bridge of boats of Bhojpur (1540) Dharmdās.

f. 96v Muḥammad Khān entertaining Humāyūn at Herat (1544). Priniciple portraits by Narsingh, remainder by Farrukh.

f. 98r Humāyūn received by Shah Ṭahmāsp (1544). Sānwlah.

f. 103r Shah Ṭahmāsp and Humāyūn hunting together (1544). Principle portraits by Narsingh, remainder by Ganga Sen.

f. 106r Mīrzā 'Askarī with his sword slung round his neck surrendering to Humāyūn at Kandahar (1545). Sūrdās.

f. 110r Humāyūn's army entering Kabul (1545). Principle portraits by Narsingh, remainder by Ustād Manṣūr.

f. 110v Humāyūn with his retinue at Kabul (1545). Ustād Manṣūr.

f. 112r The young Akbar presented to Humāyūn at Kabul (1545). Manṣūr.

f. 114r Humāyūn at the celebration held at the time of Akbar's circumcision (1545). By Narsingh and Mādhū.

f. 115r Humāyūn conquering Badakhshan (1546). Dharmdās.

f. 120v Humāyūn restoring the baggage of a plundered caravan to its owners during the siege of Kabul (1547). Miskīneh.

f. 125v 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.

f. 128r 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.

f. 129r Mīrzā Khān making his submission to Humāyūn (1548). Manohar.

f. 134v 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).

f. 136r Mīrzā Sulaimān and Mīrzā Ibrāhīm paying homage to Humāyūn at Andarab (1550). Shankar.

f. 137v Mīrzā Kāmrān receiving news on the battlefield (1550). Portraits by Sūrdās, remainder by Karim Dād.

f. 139r Humāyūn's troops plundering Mīrzā Kāmrān's camp (1551). Hīrānand.

f. 142v Mīrzā Kāmrān and Afghan soldiers carrying out a reprisal raid on Humāyūn's camp (1551). Khem Karan.

f. 158r 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.


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Digital Images

BL Digitised Manuscripts (full digital facsimile)

Funding of Cataloguing



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