Two Urdu manuscripts bound as one volume, circa 1832
Lot 31
Izzatullah Bengali, Gul-e Bakavali, The Flower of the Stewardess; Munshi Mir Amman, Baghu Bahar, The Garden and the Spring, two works in one volume Bangalore, 1832-38
£1,000 - 1,500
US$ 1,700 - 2,500
Auction Details
Lot Details
Izzatullah Bengali, Gul-e Bakavali, The Flower of the Stewardess; Munshi Mir Amman, Baghu Bahar, The Garden and the Spring, two works in one volume
Bangalore, 1832-38
Urdu manuscript on watermarked European paper (1832), 519 leaves, 15 lines to the page written in a cursive script in black ink in more than one hand, first and last two folios with pencil sketches and English inscriptions, ownership inscription of Ensign Smith dated July 6th 1838, and a small square of tartan cloth loosely mounted in manuscript along with a receipt, in good condition, contemporary red leather with stamped central medallions and cornerpieces of gilt leather onlay, decorated with floral and vegetal motifs, slightly rubbed, repaired
286 x 194 mm.

Footnotes

  • The personal copy of Ensign H. C. R. H. Smith of the 27th Madras Native Infantry, probably used for the study of Urdu by Smith while at Fort William College in Calcutta, set up by the East India Company to train its military officers and officials. He has used the front flyleaf for jotting vocabulary, a doodle of a palanquin and its bearers, and other remarks which perhaps denote a bored and wandering mind. In the back flyleaf is a detailed table of rates of pay at various ranks in the Russian Navy, with sterling equivalents, and an account of a 'frightful storm' in Bangalore in June 1839.

    Gul-e Bakavali (1721) was a romance, originally in Persian, by Izzatullah Bengali. John Gilchrist, Fort William's Professor of Urdu, commissioned the Urdu version in 1803. Baghu Bahar (trans. 1804, original reputed to be 14th Century), consists of allegorical and fantastic fables of dervishes.

    The Urdu manuscript ends with two couplets saying it was completed by 'someone who knows nothing' on Wednesday morning 10 Ramadan in Bangalore in 'the seat of Gav Buvkan [?]', with no year indicated.
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