A sample folio, concerned with the treatment of poisonous bites, from a copy of the Tuḥfat al-mu’minīn, a popular Persian pharmacopoeia by Tunakābunī which he dedicated to Shah Sulayman, the Safavid ruler of Persia from 1666 to 1694. This incomplete and undated copy was possibly made in the early 19th century in India.
Persian. 239 leaves (fols. 1a-239a). Dimensions 34.5 x 21.8 (text area 24 x 21.5) cm; 19 lines per page. The title is given at the beginning of the second major section of the treatise, fol. 203a line 2. The author is not named, but identification of author as Tunakābunī is confirmed by comparison with other copies in which he is named, such as NLM MS P 21.
The copy undated and unsigned. The appearance of the paper, script and ink suggests a dating ca. early 19th century in India. A stamp bearing the date 1235 H (= 1819) is placed at the end of the text.
It is an incomplete copy, begining with the alphabetical discussion of medicaments that forms part of the third tashkhis (subsection) of the first major division (tashkhisat) of the treatise. Fol. 1a begins in the midst of the discussion of samani (azure) and continues with samandar (salamandar) on through to the end of the alphabet on fol. 189b; the text of fols. 1a to189b, line 4, in this copy corresponds to NLM MS P 21, fol. 133b, line 23, to fol. 225b. The fourth and fifth tashkhises (on poisons and weights and measures) of the first major division of the treatise are on folios 189b-202b. Fols. 203a-239a contain an incomplete copy of the second major division (dasturat) of the treatise, on the preparation and application of simple and compound remedies. The text breaks off at fol. 239a line 5; the remainder of fol. 239 is blank.
There are marginal corrections, annotations, and excerpts from other writers in the margins. There are also English annotations on some fols. (e.g., 223a-224b) and a note in Devanagari script on fol. 233a. There are two therapeutic notes written in a later hand on the verso of the preliminary folio.
The thin, soft, beige, fibrous paper has a matte finish. Only wavy horizontal laid lines are visible. There is some water damage near the upper edge. The edges have been trimmed from their original size, and the paper is soiled slightly through thumbing.
The volume consists of 239 leaves and one unnumbered preliminary leaf. Fol. 239b is blank except for a small note by an owner. The preliminary folio is of different paper than the rest of the volume; it is blank except for two therapeutic notes written in a later hand.
It was in the collections of the Army Medical Library by 1946; no further information is available on provenance. Schullian/Sommer, Cat. of incun. & MSS., p.337, notes that the Indian origin is confirmed by a Sanskrit note (Sri Durga devan namah); see fol. 233a for one note in Devanagari script.
There is an impression of a square owner's stamp on fol. 239a, dated 1235 (= 1819), with a short informal note on 239b.
Schullian/Sommer, Cat. of incun. & MSS., P 22, pp. 336-7.
NLM Microfilm Reel: FILM 48-136 no. 2