Lot 74
  • 74

A thirty-volume Qur'an in leather storage case, copied by the scribe Shaykh Bashir, Ethiopia, Harar, circa 1800

20,000 - 30,000 GBP
37,500 GBP
bidding is closed


  • manuscript on paper, leather case
  • each volume: 17.8 by 13cm.
    case: 44 by 25cm. approx.
Arabic manuscript on paper, 30 volumes each with 25 to 30 leaves, 11 lines to the page, written in black Eastern Sudanese script, vocalisation in red and black, surah headings in red, individual verses marked with clusters of red trefoils, bound in brown leather bindings with tooled borders and flaps, large rectangular sewn leather storage case

Catalogue Note

Although the city of Harar in Ethiopia is one of the major centres of Islam in East Africa, very few Qur’ans from this area are found in European and American collections. The thirty volumes of this complete Qur’an are in their original leather bindings and impressive leather storage case.

The manuscript is in the distinctive, deeply curved naskh-like script of East Africa, and the illumination is restricted to the vocalisation, surah headings, small individual verse markers, and a red border running around the opening bifolium. Waqf notes on the first and last volumes indicate that the making of the manuscript was esteemed as a costly item. The inscriptions state that the set was endowed by 'Ashab Ibn 'Abdallah', and to be entrusted to "his son Nasrallah, and then to his children and thereafter their children". An inscription on f.2a of the first volume records that the manuscript was copied by a certain "Shaykh Bashir according to the 'Uthmanic rule".