Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Frieze of grey basalt with Arabic inscription in naskh script; broken in five parts. Dated AH 14 Muharram 885 (CE Sunday, 26 March 1480) in the reign of Yusuf Shāh.

  • Date

    • 1480 (AH 885 14 Muharram)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 51 centimetres (max)
    • Width: 21 centimetres (part a)
    • Width: 59 centimetres (part b)
    • Width: 43.3 centimetres (part c)
    • Width: 35 centimetres (part d)
    • Width: 105 centimetres (part e)
    • Width: 284.3 centimetres (theoretical total)
    • Depth: 8 centimetres (part b)
    • Width: 106 centimetres (part e)
    • Depth: 10 centimetres (part e)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Translation

        The great and exalted Sultan, son the Sultan, Shams al-dunya wa'l-din Abu'l Muzaffar Yusuf Shah al-Sultan, son of Barbak Shah, son of Mahmud Shah, may God perpetuate his kingdom and sovereignty; dated Sunday 14th day of the month of Muharram in the year eight hundred eighty five (885/CE 1480).
  • Curator's comments

    Blue slip based on old Franks notebooks gives 1826.7-8 ('Eight Arabic inscriptions on slabs of black marble from the ruins of Gaur. Col Wm Franklin'). Letters on Antiquities (G&R) 11 November 1826 shows there were only three inscriptions in total from Franklin; the 'eight' in Franks's notebooks being the total number of fragments.

    Edition based on incomplete inscription: Syed Mahmudul Hasan, 'Two Bengal Inscriptions in the Collection of the British Museum', JRAS (1966): 146-7; edition based on complete inscription: Sutapa Sinha, 'A Note on the Inscriptions of the Bengal Sultans in the British Museum', in Hakim Habibur Rahman Khan Commemoration Volume, ed. Enamul Haque (Dhaka, 2001): 134-43.


  • Bibliography

    • Porter 2003 14 (part c) bibliographic details
    • Porter & Barakat 2004 35 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G34/od

  • Exhibition history


    2003 22 Mar-25 May, University of Melbourne, Ian Potter Museum of Art, 'Mightier than the Sword' (part c only)

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • OA+6017a (part c)
    • OA+6017b (part b)
    • OA+6414 (part d)
    • OA+6416 (part a)
    • OA+6486 (part e)


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Object reference number: RRI13938

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