View full screen - View 1 of Lot 16. A Qur'an, Sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria or Chad, late 19th/early 20th century.

A Qur'an, Sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria or Chad, late 19th/early 20th century

Auction Closed

April 26, 01:36 PM GMT


8,000 - 12,000 GBP

Lot Details


Arabic manuscript on watermarked paper, 483 loose leaves, 13 lines to the page written in barnawi in dark brown ink, verses separated by yellow dots, surah headings in red, further text divisions marked by red, yellow and dark brown marginal devices, opening folio with geometric decoration, in a brown leather binding with flap, original suede and leather carry case

leaf: 21.6 by 17.2cm.

The text of this manuscript displays the barnawi script that developed in areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, mainly Nigeria and Chad. While the script has often been thought of as an offshoot of the Maghribi style, Bivar and Brigaglia note that the distinctive bold application of the letters which contrasts rounded forms with angular forms, along with short letter shafts, shows influences from Kufic script (Bivar 1968, pp.3-15, Brigaglia and Nobili 2013, p.217). A further Qur’an displaying the script is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York ( and a Sub-Saharan west African Qur’an recently sold in these rooms, 26 October 2022, lot 7. For an extensive discussion on the trade of paper in Egypt and Sub-Saharan Africa as well as these types of Qur’ans, see Brockett 1987.