Lot 2
  • 2

Large Qur'an leaf in kufic script on vellum, North Africa or Near East, circa A.D. 750-800

5,000 - 7,000 GBP
9,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • 32 by 40cm.
Text: Surat al-Kahf (xviii), vv.16-21

16 lines per page written in bold, extended kufic script in brown ink on vellum, letter pointing of brown diagonal dashes probably added slightly later, vocalisation of red and green dots, single verse divisions marked with a row of brown ink dashes, tenth verses marked with a knotted roundel in green and brown, ink on reverse worn, frayed at edges

Catalogue Note

This leaf comes from a dispersed Qur'an manuscript which has often been described as 9th or 10th century in origin. However, Dr. François Déroche has attributed three leaves from the Qur'an to the late 8th century (Déroche 1992, no.66, pp.120-123) and certain aspects of the script and illumination would support this earlier dating. The style of sura headings in kufic Qur'ans is often useful in attempting to date them. Other leaves from this Qur'an bear illumination and wording at each sura heading which are archaic in style. Other leaves from this manuscript with such sura headings have been sold in these rooms, 29th April 1998, lot 2; 20th November 1986, lot 255; and at Christie's, 15th October 1996, lot 47.

Leaves from the same Qur'an are in public and private collections including the David Collection, Copenhagen, (von Folsach, 1990, p.34), the Tareq Rajab Museum, Kuwait and the Nasser D. Khalili Collection, London, (Déroche 1992, no.66), while several have been sold in these rooms, 12th October 2000, lots 1-2; 13th April 2000, lots 2-3; 29th April 1998, lots 1-2; 23rd April 1997, lot 40; 18th October 1995, lot 5; 22nd October 1993, lot 30; 30th April 1992, lot 317; 11th October 1991, lot 885; 4th December 1987, lots 182-3; 20th November 1986, lots 255-6; 21st November 1985, lots 284-5; and 15th April 1985, lots 40-44; and at Christie's, London, 15th October 1996, lots 45-48; and 16th June 1987, lot 72.