first half of the 10th century AD
ink, gold and watercolour on vellum
copied in Kufic script; 5 lines to the page
14.4 x 10.8 cm
Text: surah al-Ahzab (XXXIII), verses 44–8 and 50–51.
The diatrical strokes are contemporary with the manuscript, while the black dots were added later. The red dots indicate the vocalization. Verses are punctuated by gold rosette-like devices, and every fifth verse is marked by a similar device with the word khams (‘five’) written inside it. A group of ten verses is marked in the margin by a large rosette with the number of verses – here khamsun, or ‘fifty’ – written inside it.
F. Déroche, The Abbasid Tradition, Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, vol. I, London 1992, cat.56, pp.109–10.