222
222
A monumental illuminated Qur’an, Egypt, Mamluk, second half 14th century
Estimate
80,000120,000
LOT SOLD. 100,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
222
A monumental illuminated Qur’an, Egypt, Mamluk, second half 14th century
Estimate
80,000120,000
LOT SOLD. 100,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Arts of the Islamic World

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London

A monumental illuminated Qur’an, Egypt, Mamluk, second half 14th century
Arabic manuscript on paper, 392 leaves plus 7 flyleaves, 9 lines to the page, written in muhaqqaq script in black ink, verses separated by gold florets pointed in blue and red, surah headings in simple gold thuluth, f.1a with the left hand page of a double page frontispiece, comprising a central stellar motif of interlocking polygons filled with floral motifs, enclosed by a band of scrolling flowers, text in cartouches above and below in red against a blue floral ground, strapwork borders with large marginal roundel, following double page with illuminated frontispiece with en suite decoration, text within cloud bands against a hatched ground, ff.391b and 392a with illuminated finispiece with corresponding decoration, contemporary brown morocco binding with large stellar motif medallion to centre of each board, knot-work borders, with flap
45 by 33 by 11cm. 
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Catalogue Note

Of truly monumental dimensions (45 by 33cm), this impressive, complete manuscript of the Qur'an is a great rarity, whose patron must have been of considerable status and wealth. The production of very large Qur'an manuscripts was popular among successive Mamluk Sultans and viziers in the fourteenth and early fifteenth century (see James 1988, nos.24,28,29,30,31,32,33, 34).

Two notable features are the intricately designed single-page frontispiece and the original stamped and tooled leather binding. The frontispiece, designed in gold and blue with palmettes enclosed in a stellar design composed of polygons is comparable in style to a single-page frontispiece from a Qur'an probably commissioned for the Mosque of Sultan Hasan (begun in 1356) and later bequethed by Sultan Sha'ban to his mother's madrasa in 1368 (see James 1998, pp.188-9, fig.131 (Cat.24)). The illuminator of this Qur'an is unknown, but is described by David James as belonging to the 'Star Polygon Group', referring to the style of illumination that succeeded the work of the master illuminators Sandal, Aydghdi and Ahmad al-Mutatabbib in the first half of the fourteenth century. Though slightly less elaborate, the present Qur'an also echoes the illumination of this group, and its frontispiece recalls the illumination of another Qur'an in the National Library, Cairo, produced for the Mamluk Emir Arghun Shah al-Ashrafi (James, op.cit., p.192-3, fig.136 (Cat.30).   

Arts of the Islamic World

|
London