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QUR'AN
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QUR'AN

SIGNED IBN 'ALI ASGHAR MUHAMMAD AL-ARSANJANI, QAJAR IRAN, DATED SHA'BAN AH 1284/ NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 1867 AD

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QUR'AN
SIGNED IBN 'ALI ASGHAR MUHAMMAD AL-ARSANJANI, QAJAR IRAN, DATED SHA'BAN AH 1284/ NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 1867 AD
Arabic manuscript on paper, 330ff. plus three flyleaves, each folio with 14ll. of black naskh, within gold and blue rules, sura headings in blue thuluth on gold ground, gilt rosette verse markers, catchwords, marginal medallions marking juz', hizb and nisf hizb, opening illuminated fihrist in a lattice, followed by a fully illuminated bifolio with prayers contained inside large cusped medallions, preceded by a fully illuminated bifolio with with sura al-fatiha and beginning of sura al-baqara, colophon signed and dated, in finely illuminated lacquered binding, red and gilt painted lacquered doublures
Text panel 2 5/8 x 1 ½in. (6.8 x 3.8cm.); folio 3 7/8 x 2 ½in. (9.7 x 6.5cm.)
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Louise Broadhurst
Louise Broadhurst

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Lot Essay

This beautifully written and finely illuminated Qur’an was copied for Aqa Mirza ‘Ali Asghar ibn Aqa Mirza Muhammad Mahdi Tehrani. Our scribe is Ibn ‘Ali Asghar Muhammad [Shafi] Al-Arsanjani, son of 'Ali 'Asghar Arsanjani (d. 1884-85), and grandson of Muhammad Shafi' who were mystics and scribes working in Shiraz. The Arsanjani family was among the most respected and highly celebrated calligraphers in Shiraz during the second half of the 19th century. Muhammad’s recorded works are dated between 1866-67 to 1904, making our copy one of his earliest works. He is also known to have been a painter and illuminator making it possibile that the fine illumination of our copy was also done by him.

Many printed Qur’ans today are reproduced from manuscripts in the hands of Arsanjani family due to their pristine and elegant naskh. Muhammad's father, 'Ali Asghar followed both 'Ala al-Din Tabrizi and Ahmad Nayrizi in his naskh style, which is also evident in his son’s calligraphy in our Qur'an.

The Khalili collection houses two Qur’ans, one by Muhammad and another ‘Ali Asghar Arsanjani (inv. no. QUR 188 and QUR 336). For more information on the Arsanjani family see Bayani and Stanley, 2009, pp. 78-9 and 138-39).

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