Circular Book of Prayers with Views of the Two Holy Sanctuaries

ink and gold on leather, decorated with cut-out and embossed work in paper and leather; stamped and gilded leather binding

text in ghubar naskh, thulth and nasta‘liq scripts

5 folios; 6.9cm (diameter)

This miniature prayer book contains the verses of Ayat al-Kursi (‘Verse of the Throne’; folio 1a); views of the Holy Sanctuaries at Mecca and Medina (folios 1b–2a); the names ‘Allah’ and ‘Muhammad’ (folios 2b–3a); the ‘Ninety-Nine Names of God’ (al-asma’ al-husna) and a litany of the names of the Prophet, in a reticulated pattern (folios 3b–4a); the surah al-Fatihah and the hilyah of the Prophet (folios 4b–5a). All are in embossed and découpage work.

N.F. Safwat, The Art of the Pen. Calligraphy of the 14th to 20th Centuries, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume V, London 1996, cat.25, pp.48–9. J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.272, p.237.