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The Decorated Word: Qur’ans of the 17th to 19th centuries – Part One

The Decorated Word
Qur’ans of the 17th to 19th centuries


Published : Part One 1999

Manijeh Bayani, Anna Contadini and Tim Stanley

This is the fourth and final volume cataloguing the Qur’anic material in the Collection; it is published in two parts and includes over 150 Qur’ans produced in the period after 1600.

Part One deals mainly with Ottoman, Iranian and Indian Qur’ans of the 17th and 18th centuries. It also includes a range of material from areas outside the Islamic empires, such as China and the Swahili coastlands of East Africa, and there are sections on later Qur’ans from Morocco and from the Sahel regions to the south.

Part Two covers the 19th century in Iran and the Ottoman empire, showing that the period was one of sumptuous brilliance with respect to Qur’an production.

In several cases the essays that introduce each group of manuscripts break new ground. No previous study of Chinese Qur’an production has been published, and the essay on Ottoman Qur’ans from the 17th and 18th centuries offers an original explanation of the development of Qur’anic calligraphy in this period.

About the author(s)

Manijeh Bayani – Specialist in Persian and Arabic epigraphy; contributor to most of the catalogues in the Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art series

Professor Anna Contadini – Professor of the History of Islamic Art, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London; specialist in Islamic works on paper

Tim Stanley – Senior Curator, Middle Eastern collection, Victoria and Albert Museum, London; specialist in Islamic manuscript production, calligraphy and the decorative arts and has a longstanding interest in Ottoman culture


Part One: 272 pages; fully illustrated in colour, halftone illustrations of colophons; hardback with dust jacket (slipcased) 36 x 26 cm; 1999; ISBN: 1-874780-54-4



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