Lot 15
  • 15

A Fine and Large Illuminated Qur'an, copied by Shaykh Kamal Al-Din Abdulhaq, Persia, Safavid, 16th Century

80,000 - 100,000 GBP
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  • Ink, Gouache & Gold on Paper
Arabic manuscript on paper, 323 leaves, 12 lines to the page, written in Naskhi script in black ink, verses separated by gold florets embellished with blue dots, marginal illuminations in the form of roundels with polychrome concentric circles filled with flowers, surah headings written in white Thuluth within gold ground cartouches filled with polychrome flowers, within rectangular panels with blue borders, 3 double page illuminated frontispieces, including double shamsa, opening sura executed within elaborate florally illuminated panels with strapwork borders and filled with interlacing arabesques and cloudbands, surah Al-Baqara with illuminated headpiece in colours and gold, the text written within cloudbands against a gold ground sprinkled with flowers, margins ruled in colours and gold, 2 double page illuminated finispieces, red morocco binding with gilt-stamped covers filled with rigorous and dense floral scrolls and cloudbands, the doubles finely worked in gold filigree against coloured grounds, with further gilt-stamped corresponding decoration 

Catalogue Note

This magnificent and well-preserved Qur'an has all the hallmarks of the most refined manuscripts of the Safavid period. The inclusion of the falnamas at the end of the Qur'an is one of the features that distinguishes Persian work from contemporary Ottoman work, which is often close in style.

Copies of the Qur'an, as well as illustrated manuscripts, formed part of the trade that passed over the Ottoman-Safavid border in spite of the hostile relations between the two empires that continued for much of the sixteenth century. That Safavid Qur'ans such as this one were particularly cherished in the Ottoman realms is demonstrated by their inclusion among the list of objects brought as gifts by Safavid envoys to the Ottoman court.

A Comparable Qur'ans to the present manuscript was included in the exhibition Ink and Gold at the Museum für Islamische Kunst, Berlin and published in the accompanying catalogue (See Fraser & Kwiatkowski 2006, pp.118-121, no.35). Other similar Qur'ans were sold in these rooms1 April 2009, lot 12 and 27 April 1994, lot 19.