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'Picture of the Bab 'Anbari'. Photographer: H. A. Mirza & Sons [‎8r] (1/1)

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The record is made up of 1 b&w photographic print held within a blue card window mount. It was created in c 1907. It was written in Urdu and English. The original is part of the British Library: Visual Arts.

About this item


Genre/Subject Matter

This image depicts the Bab ‘Anbari, one of eight gates in the outer wall of the city of Medina al-Munawarah, each of which is listed in the surrounding prose on the right-hand side of the mount. In the distance, through the arch of the gate, the minarets of the Masjid al-Nabawi (Prophet’s Mosque) are visible.

The writer of the prose asserts that the majority of pilgrims on the hadj would have entered the city through this gate, located in the southwest of the city. The significant role played by Ottoman troops in overseeing the hadj during this period is indicated by the reference in the surrounding prose, the prominent position of Ottoman insignia above the gate, including the toughra of Sultan Abdulhamid II and the inclusion of an Ottoman soldier, posed in the open archway.


Recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. :

Upper centre: 'Picture of the Bab 'Anbari'

‘How beloved is this Bab 'Anbari;

The star of the pilgrims' eyes

Indeed, it is the main gate of Medina

It seeks you and is your goal.’

To the right and left of the image:

‘Medina, the radiant, has eight gates:

1) Bab al-Quba

2) Bab al-'Awali

3) Bab al-Jum'a

4) Bab al-Majidi

5) Bab al-Shami

6) Bab al-Qubba

7) Bab al-Saghir

8) Bab al-'Anbar

The Bab 'Anbari is the gate by which pilgrims on the hajj and pilgrims to the tomb of the Prophet generally enter Medina the Radiant. This gate has been built with great splendour. On its front is the royal insignia, and above flutters the flag with the royal banner in a wondrously alluring manner. This flag is raised on Fridays. Here, as at the other gates, there is a Turkish [Ottoman] guard from the royal army. It is not possible to describe either the state of the lovers of the Prophet when they see this gate or the rapture of the fervour in their hearts. The joy they experience on reaching here is beyond expression. It is a matter to which the saying, “By God, you will not know the delight of this wine until you taste it,” is applicable. This gate is bigger than all the other gates. From here the minarets of the sacred sanctuary are visible.’

Lower centre: 'H. A. Mirza & Sons, Photographers, Chandni Chowk, Delhi'

Lower right corner, along right edge, in pencil: ‘8’ ‘145’

Verso The back of a paper sheet or leaf. :

In pen, upper right corner:


4th [?] [? 07?] [illegible]

Recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. :

In red ink on upper left of image and – faintly – beneath lower left intersection of cruciform double-barred frame:

رجسطری شده

[superscript ط]


Labels ( verso The back of a paper sheet or leaf. ):

‘145 H. A. Mirza and Sons, Photographers.

نقشه باب عنبری (Naqsha-i-Báb-i-Ambri. A

photo of the Báb-i-Ambri, one of the gates

at Medina, with a brief description.) One

sheet. Published by the Photographers:

Delhi. (Octr. 15, 1907.) 14 x 18º.

Litho. Ist Edition.

Price, Re. I, A. 4.’

2 – Ink stamp

‘India Office

19 May 1909


Other Notes

The image was formerly referred to as ‘The Bab-i-Ambri, one of the gates at Medina'

Extent and format
1 b&w photographic print held within a blue card window mount
Physical characteristics


Mount (external): 348 x 445 mm

Mount (internal): 202 x 276 mm [landscape]


Photographic print held within window mount in landscape format


Mottled blue-tinted window mount, card, gelatin silver print, indigo ink (printed), red ink (hand-painted)


Mount is mildly bowed, with very light staining along all edges. Very light staining is also visible on the paper verso The back of a paper sheet or leaf. backing, which is under-laid by cotton strips.

The print shows signs of extensive toning and is distorted gently throughout. Blemishes throughout the sky area result from a combination of those introduced during the printing process and post-printing surface residues.


8 (145)


Gelatin silver print

Written in
Urdu and English in Arabic and Latin script
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'Picture of the Bab 'Anbari'. Photographer: H. A. Mirza & Sons [‎8r] (1/1), British Library: Visual Arts, Photo 174/8, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 25 February 2020]

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