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    Sale 7571

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    8 April 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 120

    A GROUP OF TIMURID OR AQQUYUNLU QUR'AN LEAVES ON CHINESE PAPER

    IRAN, SECOND HALF 15TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A GROUP OF TIMURID OR AQQUYUNLU QUR'AN LEAVES ON CHINESE PAPER
    IRAN, SECOND HALF 15TH CENTURY
    45 leaves, each with 15ll. of elegant naskh on deep blue, turquoise, pink, purple, orange and cream Chinese paper, the text with gold and blue minor marigns, with gold roundel verse markers, sura headings in larger gold naskh in gold outlined panels, marginal khams and 'ashr markers in gold, white and blue, most folios gold sprinkled, some with larger specks, a few with gold illumination beneath the text, some folios worn at the edges, minor areas of staining, 18 with paper mounts
    Text panel 8¼ x 6¼in. (20.9 x 15.9cm.); folio 11¼ x 8 3/8in. (28.4 x 21.2cm.) (45)


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    Increased diplomatic exchange between the Timurid and Ming courts after about 1424 led to a fashion for using Chinese papers in Timurid manuscripts, particularly coloured papers decorated with gold sprinkling. A range of colours including blues, pinks, lavenders, yellows and greens became available and were most commonly used in poetry manuscripts. The paper used for these folios is noticeably heavy and highly polished. Some pages are decorated in delicate gold with characteristically Chinese motifs such as naturalistic details of plants.

    A Qur'an on Chinese coloured paper from the Türk ve Islam Eserleri Muzesi, Istanbul (no. 41) are published in David J. Roxburgh, Turks: A Journey of a Thousand Years, Exhibition Catalogue, London, no. 178, pp. 228 and 421. The calligraphy of the Istanbul example is so close to that of the present that it seems probable that the two Qur'ans came out of the same workshop. Two further Qur'ans on similar paper are known, one in the Detroit Institute of Arts and the other in the Topkapi Saray Museum. Another Qur'an was sold at Sotheby's, 26 April 1995, lot 29.

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