A miniature Qur'an written in gold on blue paper
Lot 19
A miniature Qur'an written in gold on blue paper, commissioned for the library of Sultan Abdulaziz, son of Sultan Mahmud II (reg. 1876-1904), copied by the scribe Muhammad bin Selim al-Shafii' Ottoman Turkey, Constantinople, circa 1900(2)
Sold for £9,600 (US$ 15,363) inc. premium

Lot Details
A miniature Qur'an written in gold on blue paper, commissioned for the library of Sultan Abdulaziz, son of Sultan Mahmud II (reg. 1876-1904), copied by the scribe Muhammad bin Selim al-Shafii'
Ottoman Turkey, Constantinople, circa 1900
Arabic manuscript on blue paper, 173 leaves, approximately 35 lines to the page written in ghubari script in gold, lacking diacritics, vowel points, verse markers and catchwords, sura headings written in naskhi script in gold, three double pages of illumination in colours and gold, contemporary black morocco gilt, in matching case
38 x 22 mm.(2)

Footnotes

  • Miniature Qur'ans written in ghubari script in gold are extremely rare. The tradition of writing in gold on coloured parchment or paper can be traced back to Byzantine times when official and liturgical documents were written in gold on purple and blue parchment. The earliest surviving Islamic manuscript using this method is a Qur'an written in gold kufic on blue vellum, probably at Kairouan, Tunisia, in the early 10th Century. See T. Falk (ed.), Treasures of Islam, Musee d'Art et d'histoire, Geneva 1985, p. 36, no. 3.
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