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1
An illuminated miniature Qur’an section on vellum, Persia, late 9th/early 10th century AD
Estimate
15,00020,000
LOT SOLD. 40,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
1
An illuminated miniature Qur’an section on vellum, Persia, late 9th/early 10th century AD
Estimate
15,00020,000
LOT SOLD. 40,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Arts of the Islamic World including Fine Rugs and Carpets

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An illuminated miniature Qur’an section on vellum, Persia, late 9th/early 10th century AD
text: surah al-Baqarah (II), vv.1-138
Arabic manuscript on vellum, 38 leaves plus 2 fly-leaves, 8 lines to the page written in 'New Style' in dark brown ink, f.1a with one surah heading in gold outlined in black, verses separated by gold palmettes, verse markers in gold, misbound and incomplete, in brown stamped binding decorated with a central medallion within a frame of interlacing geometrical motifs

12 by 8.5cm.
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Catalogue Note

This Qur'an section is a testament to the New Style, commonly known as Eastern Kufic. Easier to read and write compared to Kufic, this New Style developed in the tenth century in Central Asia and Persia and evolved in various sub-groups, this section being an example of NS III. The shift to a vertical format affected not only the script but also the decoration: “illuminators also introduced a new type of composition to mark the beginning of the text: to balance the overall effect of the frontispiece, the first sura was written on the left-hand page” (Déroche in Farhad 2016, p.72). This change is evident in the current section, where the first six verses of the first surah would have started on the right hand side and the second surah begins on f.1a.

A page from the same Qur’an is now in the Freer Sackler Gallery, Washington, Acc.No.S1997.92. Several ajza' of this Qur'an are now in the Chester Beatty Library (juz III, V, IX, X, XVIII and XIX; in.no.MS.1417; published in James 1980, p.26). At the end of juz XIX, there is a statement in Persian which says that it was corrected (durust bi-kard) in Sha'ban 292 AH/June 905 by Ahmad b. Abu'l Qasim al-Khayqani, dating it to circa 900 AD, making it one of the earliest Qur'ans in Eastern Kufic (see James 1980, p.26 and Arberry 1967, p.10). Other leaves from this Qur'an were sold in these rooms, 20 November 1986, lot 280; 14 December 1987, lot 198, and 29 April 1990, lot 141.

The margins have been trimmed and thus the binding is unlikely to be the original one. The very same binding is recorded in the Chester Beatty sections and is probably datable to shortly after the manuscript's production itself (see James 1980, p.119).

Arts of the Islamic World including Fine Rugs and Carpets

|
London