• Art of the Islamic and Indian  auction at Christies

    Sale 7751

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    6 October 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 1

    A KUFIC QUR'AN FOLIO

    NEAR EAST OR NORTH AFRICA, END OF THE 8TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A KUFIC QUR'AN FOLIO
    NEAR EAST OR NORTH AFRICA, END OF THE 8TH CENTURY
    Qur'an XLIII, sura al-zukhruf, parts of vv. 19-25, Arabic manuscript on vellum, 16ll. of elegant black kufic with pronounced circular letters, diacritics indicated with black lines, vocalization in red and occasional green dots, verse endings marked with groups of three diagonal lines, folio with one polychrome medallion, slight damage mounted, framed and glazed
    Folio 10¾ x 13 1/8in. (27.2 x 33.4cm.)


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    There has been discussion as to where the Qur'an from which this folio comes originates. It has previously been attributed to 10th century Tunis, (Toby Falk (ed.), Treasures of Islam, Geneva 1985, no. 4, p.37), but François Déroche, has since linked it to material from Damascus. He bases this on the extensive use of mashq - a marked elongation of the script's horizontal progression, allowing the calligrapher to adjust the length of each line to the page as a whole and adding a special character to the script (Kjeld von Folsach, Torben Lundbaek and Peder Mortensen (eds.), Sultan, Shah, and Great Mughal, The National Museum, Copenhagen, 1996, no. 93, p. 141

    Whilst the red dots denote the vowels, Déroche points out that the diacritical strokes are a later addition, as many calligraphers were initially against using aids that made the text more legible. On the basis of this, Déroche dates other pages from the same manuscript in the Khalili Collection to the late 8th century (François Déroche,
    The Abbasid Tradition, London 1992, no.66, p.120-22).

    For two further folios from the same Qur'an, see lots 2 and 5.

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    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY OF A NOBLE COLLECTION