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Single-volume Qur'an

QUR 284 | Iraq | circa 1000–1050 AD

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Artwork Details

Title: Single-volume Qur'an

Date: circa 1000–1050 AD

Location: Iraq

Materials: ink, gold and opaque watercolour on paper

Dimensions: 202 folios; 14 x 11cm 

Accession Number: QUR 284

Other Notes:

The surviving left-hand folio of the double-page frontispiece (folio 1a) is designed as two overlapping circles in a braided frame, each containing part of the verse, letter and diacritical count. This derives from the illumination of early Qur’ans in oblong format and indicates that the transition to vertical format did not immediately bring a radical new layout.

Surah headings are in gold Kufic script, with a marginal gold palmette which occasionally contains the name of the place where the surah was revealed. Individual verses are not marked, but groups of five and ten are, the latter also with a marginal medallion bearing the number of verses. The manuscript ends with an illuminated double finispiece.



text copied in naskh script, incidentals in Kufic script; 20 lines to the page


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.1, pp.24–7.
J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.56, p.68.

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