Lot 5
  • 5

Qur'an Leaf in Kufic Script on Vellum, North Africa or Near East, 10th century

12,000 - 18,000 GBP
36,500 GBP
bidding is closed


  • 24 by 34cm.
text: surat al-waqi`ah (LVI), vv.7-12

3 lines per page written in dark brown ink on vellum, vocalisation of red and green dots, letter pointing of diagonal brown dashes, single verses marked by a pyramidal arrangement of 6 gold dots, tenth verse division marked a large gold rosette bearing the word ' `ashr' in Kufic script in reserve

Catalogue Note

This leaf comes from an important Qur'an notable for its unusually attenuated and elegant script.  The pertinent features which set it apart from normal kufic are the very tall verticals, the wide, curving terminal nun and the thin, trailing tail of the terminal mim.  This particular form of the Kufic script is only found on two other known Qur'ans.  Examples of these can be found in the National Library, Tunis (Rutbi 52, Lings and Safadi, no.24), the Musée des arts Islamiques, Qairawan (Carthage, no.9), the Staatsbibliothek, Berlin (Ms.or.fol.1391), Berlin 1980, no.35) and Sotheby's London, 12th October 2000, lots 30-31 (where further references are given). The size of the illuminated roundel marking the tenth verse division on the recto is also notable. It is remarkably large in comparison to the script and the text area: - the roundel measures 5cm in diameter. It dwarfs the majority of letters of the script, only the vertical letter-forms and the curving terminal nun offering any visual competition.

Other leaves from this Qur'an are in the Al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait (al-Andalus, fig.1, p.117), and the Tareq Rajab Museum, Kuwait (Déroche, 1992, no.58).  Further leaves have been sold in these rooms, most recently 12th October 2005, lots 1 and 2.