This folio comes from a multi-part Qur'an which is often attributed to Qairouan due to the discovery of sections of the Qur'an in the mosque there (Martin Lings and Yasin Safadi, The Qur'an, London, 1976, nos.16-17, p. 26; and several auction catalogues). Stanley on the other hand suggests that a Maghribi origin (which would include Tunisia) is unlikely due to the 'eastern' abjad system used for the verse count (Tim Stanley, The Qur'an and Calligraphy, Bernard Quaritch, Catalogue 1213, p.18). The debate further complicates when we consider that our folio has horizontal and vertical incised guidelines, which Stanley mentions as a feature belonging to the Muslim West (Stanley, op. cit.).
Stanley mentions that the red dots used for the vocalization of many early Kufic Qur'ans are supplemented in this Qur'an with blue dots representing vowels after double consonants and green dots representing vowels after glottal stops (Stanley, op. cit., p.106).
Other folios and sections from the same Qur'an are in both public and private collections including: Tunis, Bibliothèque National, Rutbi 198 (Lings and Safadi, op. cit., p. 26, pl.I-II); Tunis, National Institute of Archaeology and Art (Lings and Safadi, op. cit., nos.18-19, pl.III); Beit al-Qur'an (Beit al-Qur'an, Bahrain 2000, p.81); The Nasser D. Khalili Collection, London (François Déroche, The Abbasid Tradition, The Nour Foundation 1992, no.19, p.67). 13 folios were sold in these Rooms, 9 October 1990, lot 45 and several have been sold at Sotheby's including most recently, 18th October 2001, lot 4.