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The Collection contains the largest and most comprehensive range of Qur’anic material in private hands. This, the first of four volumes devoted to the subject, covers the three major styles of Qur’anic calligraphy that came into existence before ad 1000.
The catalogue contains 98 items, which are described and illustrated in colour. Included among these are a significant number of complete manuscripts, some with their original bindings; two folios from the famous 9th-century Qur’an written in gold on blue parchment; and two quires from a 10th‑century Qur’an, the only copy known to have been produced in Sicily.
The introduction includes a survey of the codicology and illumination of early Qur’ans, and discusses problems of classification and dating.
The author’s system of classifying early Qur’anic scripts is set out in five tables, and the calligraphic styles themselves are discussed in three essays (Hijazi script; Early Abbasid scripts; and the New Style).
Professor François Déroche – Fellow of the French Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres; Director of Studies, Ecole pratique des hautes études, Paris; specialist in early Qur’ans and the history of the handwritten book in the Islamic world
191 pages; fully illustrated in colour, several line drawings, tables and diagrams; 36 x 26 cm; hardback with dust jacket (slipcased); 1992; ISBN 1-874780-51-X; £89, $180PURCHASE