• Indian & Islamic Works of Art  auction at Christies

    Sale 5836

    Indian & Islamic Works of Art & Textiles

    9 October 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 407

    TWO FOLIOS OF PROTO-BIHARI SCRIPT, SULTANATE INDIA, 15TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    TWO FOLIOS OF PROTO-BIHARI SCRIPT, SULTANATE INDIA, 15TH CENTURY
    Arabic manuscript on paper, with 11ll. of fine black bihari script with corrections in red, with gold rosette verse markers, within gilt border, outer blue rule, marginal roundel to one with gold central lobed medallion surrounded by foliage, Sura al-Ahzab XXII LV-LXV; Surah Saba XXII X-XVIII - 14 x 11 3/4in (35.5 x 29.8cm) (2)


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    These two folios come from a qur'an produced in the Sultanate period. They are in a script which is as yet unknown but has characteristics of scripts such as Muhaqqaq, Naskh and Bihari. This script could either be a short-lived provincial script or an intermediate script between Muhaqqaq and Bihari. The Bihari script shows some similarities with the Sini Muhaqqaq scripts of China also used to transcribe qur'ans in Muslim parts of China from the late 1400s onwards and the proto-Bihari script may well explain the transition. The letters nun and yae have the flat characteristics of Muhaqqaq. The short strokes mim and waw as well as the kaaf appear to be the prototype for the later development of the Bihari script.

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