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    Sale 12241

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    20 October 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 8

    A ROYAL QUR'AN

    POSSIBLY ATTRIBUTABLE TO IBRAHIM SULTAN SON OF SHAHRUKH, TIMURID IRAN, 15TH CENTURY

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    A ROYAL QUR'AN
    POSSIBLY ATTRIBUTABLE TO IBRAHIM SULTAN SON OF SHAHRUKH, TIMURID IRAN, 15TH CENTURY
    Arabic manuscript on paper, 316ff. plus four fly-leaves, each folio with 15ll. of naskh in text panels laid down between green, gold and blue rules on paper with gold floral illumination, gold and polychrome rosette verse markers, sura headings in gold on on a red-hatched ground with blue illumination, most pages with marginal medallions of drop form, opening bifolio with gold and polychrome illumination framing the text, preceding bifolio with gold and polychrome shamsas, one repaired in the middle, inscription at the beginning of the Qur'an attributing it to Ibrahim Sultan son of Shahrukh bin Timur, later seal impression of Muhammad Mohsen bin Sultan Husayn Bayqara, marginal repairs, in brown morocco with flap decorated with central stamped medallions
    Text panel 5¾ x 3¾in. (14.5 x 9.5cm.); folio 8 5/8 x 6in. (22 x 15cm.)


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    An inscription at the beginning of this Qur'an attributes it to Ibrahim Sultan son of Shahrukh bin Timur (1394-1435 AD). Shahrukh ruled as an Islamic Sultan and after taking power, quickly moved to establish the ideological foundations of his rule. A number of individual exercises in piety were thus undertaken by members of his family. Baysunghur for instance, designed a monumental dedicatory inscription for the iwan of the mosque at Mashhad built by his mother. Ulugh-Beg designed an enormous Qur'an stand and memorized the Qur'an with seven variant readings. Ibrahim executed pious inscriptions (on two madrasas that he founded in Shiraz, the Dar al-Safa and the Dar al-Aytam) and copied at least five Qur'ans (as well as being reported to have copied a sixth giant Qur'an, given as a wafq to the cemetery of Baba Lutfullah Imaduddin in Shiraz).

    One such Qur'an is in the Metropolitan Museum (13.228.1; Thomas W. Lentz and Glenn D. Lowry, Timur and the Princely Vision, exhibition catalogue, Washington DC, 1989, no.22, p.84). That example is dated 4 Ramadan AH 830/29 June 1427 AD. Both the strong naskh in which the Qur'an is written and the delicate floral marginal illumination bear strong resemblance to the present example, making the attribution on the opening folio of our Qur'an a credible one. The seal impressions of the Timurid Prince Muhammad Mohsen son of Sultan Husayn Bayqara (r. AH 873-875/1469-70 AD and AH 875-911/1470-1506 AD), which are found both at the beginning and end of the manuscript, serve to strengthen the Royal Timurid association.

    Provenance

    Gaston Migeon (1861-1930), Curator at the Louvre and the author of many books on Islamic Art, Paris, as indicated by a sticker on the binding


    Saleroom Notice

    Please note that the Gulf Cooperation Council has imposed a ban on the importation of Iranian goods to or via its member states.  Some of the member states are enforcing the ban strictly such as Saudi Arabia.  Please check with your shippers on whether you will be able to ship Iranian artworks to the GCC member states.