QUR'AN LEAF IN KUFIC SCRIPT ON VELLUM, NORTH AFRICA OR NEAR EAST, 9TH CENTURY
- 23.5 by 32.5cm.
Ink with colours and gold on parchment, 7 lines per page written in Kufic script in dark brown ink, vocalisation marked with red dots, sura heading in gold Kufic on a panel of illumination with a stylised palmette extending into the margin
This Qur'an folio is an extremely fine example of early Qur'an production, with an elegant and graphically precise Kufic script, fine, ivory-coloured vellum, and a striking and richly illuminated sura heading marking the beginning of Surat al-Jinn. The script here exhibits a strong degree of horizontal stretching (mashq), with a single letter kaf on the recto stretching for 11cm. and terminal ya two lines below stretching for 12cm. Comparable examples of the palmette extending from the sura heading can be found in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris (Arabe 325, Arabe 351, see Déroche 1983, pls.I, II) and the Musée du Bardo, Tunis (Inv.305, see Carthage, no.342, p.259).
Other sections from this Qur'an are in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin (James 1980), the Iran Bastan Museum, Tehran (Ms. 4289 Lings 1976, no.5), and the Pars Museum, Shiraz. A single folio was exhibited in 2007 in Berlin (Museum für Islamische Kunst, Berlin, Ink and Gold, no.8).