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.