Arts of the Islamic World and India

Arts of the Islamic World and India

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 18. An illuminated Qur'an leaf in Maghribi script on pink paper, North Africa or Andalusia, late 12th/early 13th century.

An illuminated Qur'an leaf in Maghribi script on pink paper, North Africa or Andalusia, late 12th/early 13th century

Auction Closed

April 24, 03:45 PM GMT


20,000 - 30,000 GBP

Lot Details


text: Qur'an, surah al-Tawkir (LXXXI), end of verse 23 to surah al-Infitar (LXXXII), bismillah

Arabic manuscript on pink paper, 5 lines to the page written in large and bold Maghribi in dark brown ink, diacritics in gold, yellow, brown and blue, verses separated by gold roundels containing abjad numerals, khams marked by an illuminated tear-drop medallion, verso with surah heading in gold Kufic within an illuminated panel and marginal medallion

33.6 by 26.4cm.

Please note that the dimensions for this lot are 33.6 by 26.4cm. and not as stated in the printed catalogue.

Sotheby's, London, 9 April 2008, lot 18

This Qur’an leaf originates from a magnificent twenty-volume Qur’an produced in the Muslim west. It’s luxurious, pink-dyed paper is thought to have produced in Jativa, southwest of Valencia, the site of the earliest recorded paper mill in Spain (Fraser and Kwiatkoswki, 2006, p.64). The calligrapher has employed an impactful and well-spaced Maghribi, with free-flowing terminals that contrast the intricate illuminated devices throughout the text. The extravagance of the calligraphy, illumination and dyed paper would suggest it was commissioned by an illustrious, probably noble, patron from one of the major cities in Southern Spain.

Further folios from the manuscript include a section that was formerly in the collection of Maréchal Lyautey, sold at the Hotel Georges V, Paris, 30 October 1975, lot 488, and subsequently in these rooms, 14 April 1976, lot 247. Two further leaves from that section were sold in these rooms, 23 April 1997, lots 42 and 43, while a bifolium and a single leaf were sold 15 October 1998, lots 10-11. More recently, bifolia were sold in these rooms, 25 October 2017, lot 10; 26 April 2017, lot 23, 3 October 2012, lot 17 and 6 April 2011, The Stuart Cary Welch Collection, Part One, lot 11; whilst single leaves were sold 25 October 2017, lot 4; 8 October 2014, lot 13; 22 April 2015, lot 51, and 7 October 2015, lot 204.