Isl. Ms. 870


Inshā-i Harkarn,[late 17th or early 18th century?].انشا هركرن,[پایان قرن 17م یا آغاز قرن 18م؟].


Harikaṇa,Multānīهركرن بن متهراداس ملتانى،fl. 1625.

Place/Date of Production:



91 leaves :paper ;198 x 108 (155 x 60) mm. bound to 205 x 120 mm.


Elegant copy of the collection of model letters of appointment and other official documents compiled (certainly after 1625, possibly after 1645) by Harkarn [Harkaran] ibn Mathurādās of Multān, secretary (munshī) of Iʻtibār Khān (d.1625). Contribution to the cataloguing from Hossein Mottaghi.

Other Title(s):

Irshād al-ṭālibīnارشاد الطالبينارشاد الطالبینHer KernInshā-i HerkernInsha-i Herkerm


Formularies (Diplomatics)--Early works to 1800.
Diplomatics, Persian--India--Early works to 1800.
Letter writing, Persian--India--Early works to 1800.
Manuscripts, Persian--Michigan--Ann Arbor.
India--Kings and rulers--Correspondence.




Ms. codex.
Title from inscription on 'title page' (p.15).


"بعد از حمد وثنای مر حضرت ایزد متعال ذو الحلال والافضال ..."


Can you help transcribe the explicit? Please comment!


Can you help transcribe the colophon? Please comment!


Can you help transcribe the dedication? Please comment!


Unidentified-Can you help supply this information? Please comment!

Physical Details:

ii, 6 (6), IV (14), 11 III(80), III-1 (85), 6 (91), ii ; almost exclusively ternions ; middle of the quire marks in the form of black strokes, lower outer corner of right-hand leaf, upper outer corner of left-hand leaf ; some added leaves (six each at the opening and close of the codex) bound in upside down ; catchwords present ; pagination initially in black ink, continued in pencil, Western numerals (every other leaf) ; pagination in pencil, Western numerals, supplied during digitization (includes inner flyleaves and added leaves).


Written in roughly 10 lines per page ; frame-ruled.


Shikastah-taʻlīq (taʻlīq with elements of shikastah) ; bold, elegant Indian [?] chancery hand in a heavy line ; partially seriffed with left-sloping head-serifs and highly ligatured with effect of words descending to baseline, elongation of horizontal strokes, occasional reversed or recurved final descenders, etc.


Keywords and headings rubricated (text to be entered in red entered in inner margins) ; overlining in red ; occasional textual dividers in the form of red hāʼ.


European and non-European (likely Indian or Persian) laid paper ; opening gathering in a paper with roughly 7 laid lines per cm. (horizontal, fairly distinct, curving) and no laid lines clearly visible, cloudy formation, thin and transluscent though sturdy, burnished, grayish tint ; thereafter (from p.31) in a European laid paper with 9 laid lines per cm. (horizontal or vertical), chain lines spaced 24 mm. apart (vertical or horizontal), and watermarks of three crescents (roughly 72 mm. long, parallel to chains, see p.40, 78, 112, etc.) and mount of six coupeaux with star above (see p.102, 126, 154, etc.), sturdy, medium cream in color, well-burnished.


Boards covered in shell 'marbled' paper (mainly in pink, blue and yellow) with orange-brown leather over spine and board corners (approaching half-binding) ; Western style binding ; pastedowns and flyleaves in grey paper ; spine gold-stamped with "HER | KERN" and decorative bands ; edges of text block flecked with red ; sewn in white thread over three recessed cords ; stuck-on endbands ; overall in somewhat poor condition with much abrasion, deterioration of leather, lifting and losses of spine leather, etc.

Accompanying Materials:

a. Slip with description (in hand of E. Husselman ?) "Hari-Karana, son of Mathurā-dāsa, Multānī. | Inshā. | Cat. of Pers. Bks. in BM Cat. several editions | n. f. in Mich. MSS." and (in hand of G. Meredith-Owens ?) "A work on epistolary style." -- b. Slip with note "Counted for 1968/69 Annual Report" -- c. Slip with note "Persian MSS (Heyworth-Dunne?) Husselman notes"

Former Shelfmarks:

Mich. Isl. Ms. temp. no. 19


Lacks dated colophon ; paper, etc. suggest mid to late 16th or early 18th century dating ; dated ownership statement (see p.15, 184, etc.) provides terminus ante quem of 1750.

Ownership and History:

Possible inventory marks on verso of front flyleaf in black ink "D F. 237 [?]" and in red ink "Lot 127" ; numerous notes and excerpts at opening and close of codex, a few in Devanagari / Hindi script, including ownership statement in brown ink in name of Robert Sumption dated 1750 / 1163 (see p.15) ; another ownership statement in name of Robert Sumption dated 1750 appears in brown ink on back flyleaf (p.184) "Seind, [Sindh ?] 1750 | انشا هركرن مال صاحب رابرت سامسين | Robert Sumption his book of Herkerons [?] Letters or Precedents of writings & addresses" ; occasional glosses and marginal corrections.

Contributor(s) / Included work(s):

Unidentified-Can you help supply this information? Please comment!


Unidentified-Can you help supply this information? Please comment!

Former Owner(s):

Robert Sumption, fl. 1750, former owner. Nuttall, Frank E., 1875-1943, former owner.

In Collection:

F. E. Nuttall Collection.


Cat. Pers. MSS. Brit. Mus.,p.530Bazmee Ansari, A.S. "Harkarn, b. Mathurādās." In EI2,vol. III, p.225, col. 2Qasemi, S.H. "HARKARN DĀS KANBŌH," Encyclopaedia Iranica,vol. 12, fascicle 1, 2004: pp.6Munzavī, Aḥmad. Fihrist-i nuskhahʹhā-yi khaṭṭī-i Fārsī,vol.3, p.2113منزوي، احمد. فهرست نسخه هاي خطي فارسي،جلد 3، صفحه 2113

Images1 2

Posted by evyn on February 2, 2011
Tags: F. E. Nuttall Collection, Fully Catalogued, Persian MSS

Total comments on this page: 3

How to read/write comments

Comments on specific paragraphs:

Click the icon to the right of a paragraph

  • If there are no prior comments there, a comment entry form will appear automatically
  • If there are already comments, you will see them and the form will be at the bottom of the thread

Comments on the page as a whole:

Click the icon to the right of the page title (works the same as paragraphs)


No comments yet.

H. Mottaghi on paragraph 2:

فن انشاء

February 29, 2012 1:38 am
H. Mottaghi on paragraph 3:

هرکرن بن منيراداس (متهراداس) ملتاني زنده سال 1213هـ

February 29, 2012 1:39 am
H. Mottaghi on paragraph 30:

منزوي، احمد: فهرست نسخه هاي خطي فارسي
جلد3، صفحه2113

February 29, 2012 1:40 am

Comments are by invitation only.