Single-volume Qur’an

ink, gold and opaque watercolour on paper; contemporary stamped and gilded leather binding, with later Ottoman doublures

main text copied in muhaqqaq, naskh and thulth scripts, incidentals in thulth and Kufic; 11 lines to the page

454 folios; 36 x 24.5cm

The illumination of the opening spread (folios 1b–2a) is in the Timurid Herati style of the late 15th century. Although Herat was captured by the Safavids in 1510 and artists from the royal studio taken back to Tabriz, artistic standards there were well maintained. At some later date this Qur’an fell into Ottoman hands, when a fanciful inscription in the name of the famous Ottoman calligrapher Ahmed Karahisari was added to the final page.

D. James, After Timur. Qur’ans of the 15th and 16th Centuries, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume III, London 1992, cat.35, pp.128–35.

J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.249, pp.212–13.