A large illuminated Qur’an, Egypt, Mamluk, mid-14th century
30,000 - 50,000 GBP
bidding is closed
- ink on paper with leather binding
- 33.3 by 17.2cm.
Arabic manuscript on paper, 304 leaves plus 5 flyleaves, 13 lines to the page, written in neat naskh script ink black ink, replacement final page, verses separated by gold florets, catchwords, fifth verses marked by pear-shaped florets emanating fronds, tenth verses marked by gold foliate roundels outlined in blue within the text, surah headings in large gold thuluth spaced between the text, with filled-in interstices, textual divisions marked in the margin, sometimes in gold within a gold-outlined panel against a feintly-lined ground, ff.1b-2a with double page illuminated frontispiece composed of interlocking geometric motifs enclosed within strap-work borders, the text above and below in white thuluth script within gold cloud bands against a blue vegetal ground, following double page with text within cloud bands against a ground of large scrolling vines resting on feint lines, text above and below in large gold ornamental Eastern Kufic script, further illuminated double page at the beginning of juz' XVI (surah al-Kahf, vv.75-78), later brown morocco binding with gilt-stamped central panels decorated with scrolling vines and calligraphic border cartouches, cut-paper filigree-work doublures, with flap
The decoration of the two double-pages found at the beginning and middle of the Qur'an is indebted to the illuminator Sandal, and his decorative tradition as practised by Ahmad al-Mutatabbib. For a Qur'an exhibiting similar decorative modes see James 1988, pp.132-8, fig.92.