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QUR'AN
QUR'AN
QUR'AN
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QUR'AN
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No VAT on hammer price or buyer's premium. A MAGNIFICENT QUR'AN
QUR'AN

COLOPHON WITH NAME OF YAQUT MUSTA'SIMI, THE CALLIGRAPHY, BAGHDAD SCHOOL, LATE 13TH CENTURY; THE ILLUMINATION, SAFAVID IRAN, 17TH CENTURY

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QUR'AN
COLOPHON WITH NAME OF YAQUT MUSTA'SIMI, THE CALLIGRAPHY, BAGHDAD SCHOOL, LATE 13TH CENTURY; THE ILLUMINATION, SAFAVID IRAN, 17TH CENTURY
Arabic manuscript on paper, 294ff. plus three flyleaves, each folio with15ll. of elegant black naskh in clouds reserved against a gold ground, within gold and polychrome rules, gold and polychrome rosette verse markers, sura headings in large gold thuluth in clouds reserved against a gold ground, occasional sura headings in gold and polychrome illuminated panels, the margins of each folio with gold floral illumination, catchwords, gold and blue marginal medallions, opening bifolio with gold and polychrome illuminated shamsas on a gold and polychrome floral ground, the following bifolio illuminated in gold and polychrome, colophon with name of Yaqut al-Musta'simi and dated shawwal AH 688/October-November 1289 AD, the following folio with a gold and polychrome illuminated cartouche, in gilt stamped morocco with flap, gilt stamped and painted doublures, overall good condition
Text panel 8 ¼ x 4 ¾in. (21 x 11.9cm.); folio 11 ¾ x 6 7/8in. (29.9 x 17.5cm.)
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Please note that the calligraphy of this Qur’an is either late 13th century or possibly early 14th century and not simply late 13th century as stated in the catalogue.

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Lot Essay

The present manuscript carries a colophon with the name of Yaqut al-Musta'simi (d. circa 1298 AD), and was produced in the late thirteenth century. Abu'l Majd Jamal al-Din Yaqut bin 'Abdullah is thought to have been born in the first or second decade of the 13th century, probably in the then Byzantine city of Amasya in Anatolia. He studied calligraphy in Baghdad with one of the masters of the day, Safi al-Din 'Abd al-Mu'min al-Urmawi (d. 1294), who worked first for Al-Musta'sim and then for his conqueror, Hülegü and Ata-Malik Juwayni - the Persian historian and governor of the city. He became the librarian (under the direction of the historian Ibn al-Fuwati, d.1318) of the Mustansiriyyah madrasa in Baghdad - a richly endowed foundation which was established by the Abbasid caliph in the early 13th century. He was also protégé to Juwayni - and taught calligraphy to his sons and brother, Shams al-Din, the head of the chancery (sahib diwan). He is believed to have died in Baghdad around AH 697/1298 AD.
Yaqut is considered one of most important calligraphers in the Islamic world. He is famed for being the teacher of six pupils who went on to become well-known calligraphers in their own right. The identity of these six, or the sitta, as they are known, is debated but it is widely agreed that they included Arghun al-Kamili, 'Abdullah al-Sayrafi, Mubarak Shah bin Qutb and Ahmad al-Suhrawardi. Known to be a strict tutor who demanded constant practice, Yaqut is said to have kept himself in practice by copying two sections of the Qur'an every day. During the sacking of Baghdad, he is said to have secluded himself in a minaret whilst doing so. A miniature from the treatise on calligraphers by Qadi Ahmad depicts this curious activity (illustrated in Y.H.Safadi, Islamic Calligraphy, London, 1978, p.18).
Our manuscript was later illuminated in Safavid Iran, circa 1600. The quality of the illumination and binding, indicate that it was a prized object, probably having been considered the work of the master Yaqut throughout its ownership. Manuscripts executed by Yaqut, especially his Qur'ans were hugely sought after and as a result copied by his followers in homage to the great artist. These men hoped to perfect their hands by emulating the master who today is considered one of the most accomplished calligraphers of the Islamic world.
One fairly common feature of Yaqut Qur'ans, both those by him and the ones which were copied from his work is that they have often been re-margined and re-illuminated, as is the case with the present Qur'an. Shah Tahmasp reworked the illumination of a Qur'an manuscript endowed to the dynastic shrine at Ardabil, and Sultan Suleyman and his vizier Rüstam Pasha commissioned the refurbishment of a number of Yaqut manuscripts including one in the Topkapi (Lings and Safadi, The Qur'an, no.47, p.247 and Esin Atil, The Age of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, exhibition catalogue, Washington D.C., 1987, no.13, p.54). Another Qur’an which names Yaqut al-Musta'simi in the colophon sold in these Rooms, 9 October 2014, lot 14.

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