Arghun al-Kamili is described as being one of the sittah, the six principle disciples of Yaqut al- Musta'simi. Described by some scholars as being Turkish and by others as Persian, he is most famous for mastering the rayhan and muhaqqaq script. In around 1300 he was taken or went to Baghdad where he is said to have died around 1352. His association with Baghdad is confirmed by an album page in the Topkapi Palace Library, Istanbul signed Arghun al-Baghdadi (MS.H.2130). Signed works bear dates that show him to have been active from the turn of the 13th century until the year of his death. Although best known for his Qur'ans written in his masterly hand, he is recorded by Qadi Ahmad as also having written the inscription of two madrasas in Baghdad, the Mirjaniyyah and one which he simply describes as being 'beside the bridge' (V. Minorsky, Calligraphers and Painters, A Treatise by Qadi Ahmad, son of Mir Munshi, Washington, 1959, pp.60-61).
Other folios from the present dispersed manuscript are known. Nineteen folios are in the Chester Beatty Library (MS. 1498, David James, op. cit., no. 66, p. 246), twenty-eight leaves were exhibited in Riyadh in 1985, a bifolio was with Bernard Quaritch (Tim Stanley, The Qur'an and Calligraphy. A Selection of Fine Manuscript Material, Bernard Quaritch, Catalogue 1213, no. 25). A bifolio was sold in these Rooms, 26 April 1994, lot 36. Two further single folios from the same Qur'an, but with less illumination and without a sura heading were recently sold at Sotheby's, 14 April 2010, lots 9 and 10. The remainder of the manuscript is in the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts in Istanbul (MS. 452).
On the basis of four single-volume Qur'ans signed by Arghun in the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, the manuscript from which the present bifolio comes has been convincingly attributed by David James to Arghun al-Kamili (see David James, Qur'ans of the Mamluks, New York, Thames & Hudson, 1988. pp. 158-160). All five manuscripts have 13ll. of elegant rayhani per folio and the folios are of closely comparable size. More importantly, all of the Qur'ans copied between 1329-1341 are illuminated in the same style, that typical of Muhammad ibn Sayf al-Din al-naqqash who is known to have collaborated with Arghun al-Kamili in a number of his Qur'ans and who signed one of those in the Chester Beatty Library and another in the Topkapi Palace Library (MS.E.H. 151). The multi-petalled blossom in dark and light blue found on a number of the folios of the dispersed copy and which here issues from the sura heading is very typical of his work (see for example Abolala Soudavar, Art of the Persian Courts, New York, 1992, no. 12, pp. 40-41 or James, op. cit., no. 66, p. 157 and 166).
Other documented works by Arghun al-Kamili include an album page in the Topkapi dated AH 700/1300-01 AD and signed Arghun ibn 'Abdallah (MS.H.2156), a manuscript containing various suwar signed Arghun also in the Topkapi (MS.E.H.222), a single volume Qur'an in the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts signed Arghun al-Kamili and dated AH 741/1340-41 AD (MS.452). His latest dated work is an album page dated AH 753/1352 AD, also in the Topkapi.