681 AH (1282–3 AD)
ink, opaque watercolour and gold on paper; 16th-century Iranian stamped and gilded leather binding and flap, with paper-filigree doublures
main text in muhaqqaq script, incidentals in Kufic; 5 lines to the page
58 folios; 24.5 x 17cm
Although three other sections of this Qur’an survive in various libraries, this is the only one that retains its original illumination.
The frontispiece is a panel composed of intersecting rectangles and circles in gold with rich arabesque ornament in black, blue, white and red. The opening and closing spreads of text are of monumental quality, with only three lines to the page. The heading of surah al-Kahf (XVIII) is written in white Kufic in a decorated panel with a marginal palmette (folio 34b).
D. James, The Master Scribes. Qur’ans of the 10th to 14th Centuries AD, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume II, London 1992, cat.11, pp.60–67. J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.160, p.139.