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Prayer Book
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Prayer Book

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Walters manuscript W.578 is an illuminated manuscript of the well-known prayer called Hizb al-bahr (Litany of the sea) by Abu al-Hasan al-Shadhili (died 656 AH/AD 1258), the founder of the Shadhiliyah sufi order. It was copied in the 11th century AH/AD 17th in Ottoman Turkey. The text, on gold-sprinkled paper with tan tinted margins, is written in a variety of large-size scripts, including Thuluth, Muhaqqaq, Rayhan, and Tawqi', vocalized in black and blue. Illuminated rosettes with colored dots serve as verse markers.There is a bequest (waqf) statement (fol. 2a) in the name of Sultan 'Uthman Khan III (reigned 1168-1171 AH/AD 1754-1757), signed by Ibrahim Hanif, inspector of awqaf. The illuminated finispiece (fol. 7b) is inscribed with the basmalah and hamdalah in white Thuluth script in horizontal panels that frame a central lozenge containing Qur'anic verses in green and black Square Kufic. The binding of gold-sprinkled pink paper over pasteboard with central lobed gold-tooled medallion dates to the late 11th century AH/AD 17th or the 12th century AH/AD 18th. The fact that the flap is on the wrong side suggests that the manuscript may have been rebound at a later stage.
Date Description Narrative
12/03/1974Examinationexamined for condition
  • The Cross and the Crescent: Books from the Ottoman Age. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2003.
  • Speaking the Word of God: Illuminated Korans from the Walters Art Museum. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2007.
Provenance Sultan 'Uthman Khan III, son of Mustafa II (reigned 1168-1171 AH/AD 1754-1757) [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [waqf entry in the name of the Sultan signed by Ibrahim Hanif, inspector of awqaf on fol. 2a and seals of the Sultan and the inspector erased]; Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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11th century AH/AD 17th century (Ottoman)
ink and pigments on gold-sprinkled paper and tan tinted paper bound between pasteboard covered with gold-sprinkled pink paper with gold-tooled goatskin
(Manuscripts & Rare Books)
Accession Number
Folio H: 12 3/8 x W: 8 7/16 in. (31.5 x 21.5 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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