Arts of the Book: Manuscripts, Folios, Bindings
Folio From A Qur’an
12th-13th century CE
Materials and technique
Ink, opaque watercolour, and gold on paper
24.7 x 19.9 cm
Qur’an production from the eleventh century onwards was marked by a change in the selection of script styles. One of the scripts that gradually replaced the kufic of earlier Qur’ans as the predominant style was the rectilinear but more monumental muhaqqaq featured on this folio. The earliest known Qur’an written in this script is dated 1160 CE and can be found in the National Library, Cairo (MS. 144; see Lings and Safadi 1976, cat. no. 60). Three lines of text fill the present page; they are enclosed in a ruled margin outlined in red with multi-petalled rosette extensions rendered in gold, pale green, red, and black and framed in turn within stylised palmettes and half-palmettes. A gold rosette also marks the division between the thirty-third and thirty-fourth verses of Surat al-Rum, the thirtieth chapter of the Qur’an. This folio was formerly in the collection of Krikor and Adrienne Minassian in New York.
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