Eastern kufic developed as a calligraphic style in the 9th Century and was sometimes referred to as al-kufi al-farisi in Arabic denoting its probable Iranian origins (Martin Lings, The Quranic Art of Calligraphy and Illumination, London, 1976,p.16). It is typified by its triangular letters and its diagonal rather than horizontal or vertical orientation. This particular Qur'an is a particularly elegant example of the compact style of Eastern kufic, which interestingly has many strong horizontal stretching (mashq) of the last and first lines of many of the suras. The illumination of sura headings in this Qur'an is very similar to the illumination on an Eastern kufic Qur'an fragment in the Chester Beatty Library, which also has similar bold calligraphy with palmette extensions on a ground of tightly scrolling vine on a red ground, (David James, Qur'ans and Bindings from the Chester Beatty Library, London, 1980, pl. 16, p. 30).
This Eastern kufic Qur'an is one of a rare few signed and dated examples. A signed Eastern kufic Qur'an section dated AH 432/1040-41 AD was sold in these Rooms, 26 April 2005, lot 15; which had similar gilt cusped roundel verse markers. A further later complete Eastern kufic Qur'an in the Mashhad Shrine Library which is not as lavishly illuminated as this copy, is signed by 'Ali bin Muhammad bin Muhammad and dated AH620/1223-24 AD (Martin Lings, The Quranic Art of Calligraphy and Illumination, London, 1976,pl. XIV,p.20).