This sub-imperial Mughal manuscript was presented by Sir Alexander Warre Malet, Bart., in 1830 and was previously owned by Sir Charles Warre Malet, 1st. Bart. (1752-1815). Folio 1r bears an impression of his Persian seal, inscribed with his name, Charls War Malit
, with a Hijri date 1196/A.D. 1781-2.
The illustrations from this relatively large manuscript, possibly date from the late sixteenth century or the early seventeenth century. It is now bound in a European half leather binding, and has 741 extant folios of Persian text, to which another five blank leaves have been added.
It incorporates the full text of the Shahnama, preceded by the Baysunghuri preface and a glossary of rare words. The colophon is undated and bears no names. However, blank spaces for illustrations were left throughout the manuscript and were then embellished at a later date with mediocre quality decoration in speckled gold and purplish-brown grisaille. Flora and fauna that had no relation to the actual subject were illustrated at several text points. The empty space intended for the illustration of Firdausi and the three court poets of Ghazna (f. 18v) is instead filled by an image of a lion and a stag. Moreover, the space determined for the depiction of Kayumars enthroned (f. 19v) is replaced by the image of a lion, an antelope, a hare and a bird.
See, The Royal Asiatic Society: Its history and treasures, ed. Stuart Simmonds & Simon Digby, London 1979.