View full screen - View 1 of Lot 4. A QUR’AN BIFOLIUM IN KUFIC SCRIPT ON VELLUM, NORTH AFRICA OR NEAR EAST, 9TH CENTURY AD.
4

A QUR’AN BIFOLIUM IN KUFIC SCRIPT ON VELLUM, NORTH AFRICA OR NEAR EAST, 9TH CENTURY AD

A QUR’AN BIFOLIUM IN KUFIC SCRIPT ON VELLUM, NORTH AFRICA OR NEAR EAST, 9TH CENTURY AD

A QUR’AN BIFOLIUM IN KUFIC SCRIPT ON VELLUM, NORTH AFRICA OR NEAR EAST, 9TH CENTURY AD

A QUR’AN BIFOLIUM IN KUFIC SCRIPT ON VELLUM, NORTH AFRICA OR NEAR EAST, 9TH CENTURY AD


text: surah al-Baqara (II), end of v.185 to beginning to v.186 and middle of v.195 to beginning of v.196

Arabic manuscript on vellum, 7 lines to the page written in elongated Kufic in dark brown ink, diacritics in the form of red, yellow and green dots, verses separated by small triangular clusters of six gold dots, tear-drop form gold and polychrome khamsa verse markers


leaf: 26.8 by 36.7cm.

bifolium: 26.8 by 73.6cm.

In overall good condition, minor splits on the margins consistent with its age, minor holes and splits in the middle of the bifolium, on the fold, some very small stains, some minor rubbing to the ink, the flesh side with some discoloration consistent with age and material, 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."

The script on this large Qur'an leaf is close to that of the so-called Amajur Qur'an, a manuscript in Kufic script that was donated as a waqf endowment to a mosque in Tyre in 875-6 AD by Amajur, the Abbasid givernor of Damascus. Although this waqf date gives us a terminus quem rather than an exact date of production, this date is considered to be a good indication of the approximate production period of Kufic scripts of this mature style , termed category D by François Déroche (Déroche 1992, pp.36-37, 44-45). The script is an elegant and well-executed example, with balanced use of horizontal stretching (mashq) and the vertical punctuation of the letter-forms alif and lam.


Two folios from the same are in the Musée des arts Islamiques de Kairouan (Carthage 1982, no.328), and a bifolium was exhibited in Berlin in 2006 in the exhibition Ink and Gold, (Fraser & Kwiatkowski 2006, no.7); a leaf from the same surah, v.197, sold in these rooms, 24 October 2007, lot 8; other leaves sold in these rooms, 28 April 1993, lot 67; 15 October 1997, lot 2 and 7; 29 APril 1998, lots 5 and 6.