Single Folio from a Four-part Qur’an

ink, gold and opaque watercolour on paper

copied in Kufic script (’New Style‘); 4 lines to the page

23.9 x 33.8cm

Text: surah al-Najm (LIII), verse 59, to surah al-Qamar (LIV), verse 5.

This folio is remarkable for its fine script, its rich illumination and for the fact that, although it is written on paper, the format is not vertical but horizontal. The sajdah at the end of surah al-Najm is written in an illuminated lozenge, while the title and verse count of the following surah (al-Qamar) are written in gold in a thin band which terminates in a similarly-shaped marginal hasp.

There are diacritical strokes (the black dots are later additions) and red dots indicate the vocalization. Gold rosettes separate individual verses, while the passage of ten verses is marked in the margin by a large roundel.

F. Déroche, The Abbasid Tradition, Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, vol. I, London 1992, cat.83, pp.154–5. J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.9, p.35.