Notes and seals on folios of a large 17th century Safavid illustrated and illuminated manuscript of the Shahnamah state that by the mid-18th century the manuscript was in the library of Ahmad Shah Abdali.
By 1822 it had passed to his great-grandson, Kamran Shah Saddozai of Herat. In 1837, the army of Muhammad Shah of Persia laid siege to Herat and the British government put pressure on him to withdraw by declaring it would consider the Persian occupation of Herat a hostile act. Kamran Shah subsequently sent this manuscript to Queen Victoria as thanks for British support. Kamran Shah’s wife Zahra inscribed a letter to Queen Victoria on folio 401r of the text, dated 21 December 1839. She addressed Victoria as ‘the Queen of Sheba of the West, Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain, at whose command the mighty government of England, during the late siege, and subsequent to it, afforded timely and valuable assistance to the country and people of Herat.’
Queen Victoria received the manuscript on 5 May 1841. She confused the name of the text when she recorded its receipt in her journal: ‘After dinner we looked at a very curious book sent to me by the wife of a Shah of Herat, called, “the Book of Namah”, all in manuscript & splendidly illuminated’.
The Farasnamah is a work on horses and farriery. According to the preface it is a Persian translation of the Arabic medieval veterinary manual Kamil al-Sinaatayn fi al-Baytarah wa Zardaqah, which made on the instructions of Qazi Muhammad Idris Khan by order of Ahmad Shah Durrani (reg.1747-73).
The entire book is available here.