Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Nepal Horse Book

Nepal Horse Book (cover)

Nepal Horse Book cover (detail) 1

Nepal Horse Book cover (detail)

Nepal Horse Book

Nepal Horse Book a

Nepal Horse Book b

Nepal Horse Book b (detail)

Nepal Horse Book c

Nepal Horse Book d

Nepal Horse Book e

Nepal Horse Book f

The Royal Library in Denmark have a manuscript that they call 'Illustrated work with horses from Nepal' among their Oriental digitized visual art site. The book is presented in a good quality flash site (about 50 pages) and you get a bigger viewing field if you enlarge the browser (unlike many other flash zoomers).

All of the images above were spliced together from screencaps. I've touched up that final image to remove some pencil markings, but left all the others as found.

There appears to be no background information available on this work, even in the Danish section of the site. I have no idea when this manuscript was produced -- even a rough guess would need to cover a few hundred years, say 17th, 18th or 19th centuries perhaps??

The devanagari script makes no sense to my hindi-speaking mate, so presumably it is written in Nepali.

If anyone knows anything more or can find any information about this work, please let us know by either commenting or dropping me a line (peacay AT gmail DOT com).

UPDATE: Christies listed an item a couple of years ago that is either a copy or a derivative work:

"A Treatise on the Nature and Illnesses of Horses, Asvasastra
Nepal, 18th Century
Leporello manuscript on composite native paper, stained yellow on one side, 6 to 9 line of Newari script in black ink, with 32 miniatures of horses, 19 half-page illustrations on the yellow side and 13 on the white side, 22ff."
(I think leporello means folded paper like an accordian) THANKS Tonya!


Karla said...

I don't know anything useful about it, but it did prompt me to wonder whether all Nepalese horses are male, or just those in the book.

Just wondering. I do wonder about odd things like that. For no good reason.

arty moods said...

Perhaps "Angry Horses from Nepal"?
Lovely colors.

Unknown said...

the image is not very clear, it was took from a mobile phone, but maybe you like it:


tonya v. said...


as it happens..i ran into images from this book a few weeks ago.

this is what i have on it:

asvasastra, treatise on the types of and illnesses of horses. nepal, 18th c.

so..your guess on the time period and place was spot on..

i'll forward you what i have on your gmail account.

best wishes..

Barbara Martin said...

These copies from an ancient manuscript are very old, perhaps even as early as the 15th century when monks wrote and put together volumes about a series of animals or specific animals; such as the horses seen here. It is difficult for most historians when they attempt to date old books or scrolls. They often guess unless there is unrefuted evidence to the contrary.

I came via Willow's site.

As I write about historical matters in my fiction stories, I am linking your site to mine for easy reference. There are wonderful references available here. Thank you for posting.

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