AN ILLUMINATED QUR’AN, PERSIA OR MESOPOTAMIA, 11TH/12TH CENTURY AD
Arabic manuscript on paper, 233 leaves plus 2 fly-leaves, 25 lines to the page, written in Eastern Kufic in black ink, ruled in gold, verses separated by gold and polychrome roundels, surah headings in gold outlined in red, the first three folios replaced, later re-margined, in brown gilt-stamped leather binding
text panel: 11.3 by 7.1cm.
leaf: 20.5 by 14.3cm.
The first leaves replaces, minor stains and smudges, possibly incomplete, re-margined, as viewed.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
N. Safwat, A Collector’s Eye. Islamic calligraphy in Qur’ans and other manuscripts, London 2010, no.45, pp.186-9
This is an important single-volume Qur’an which relates to several other manuscripts of the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The closest parallel is a Qur’an in the Khalili Collection (inv.no.QUR124, published in Déroche 1992, p.168), which is characterised by similar dimensions, comparable surah headings and similar writing style, identified by Déroche as Style NS.I. The main differences between the two is the absence in the current one of a bolder bismillah below the surah heading and the use of a wider colour palette for the diacritics, shadda and sukun. A similar section, also re-margined and dated to the twelfth century, sold at Christie’s London, 10 October 2014, lot 258. Other related manuscripts with similar features are as follows: a Qur’an in the Khalili Collection, London (inv.no.QUR94, published in Déroche, pp.180-1); a Qur’an sold at Christie’s, London, 11 April 1989, lot 52; three Qur'ans sold in these rooms 6 April 2011, lot 178; 6 October 2010, lot 12 and 3 October 2012, lot 7.