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Description This copy of the Qur'an, Walters manuscript W.557, was made in Iran, probably in the 6th century AH/AD 12th. The text is written in the New Abbasid (Broken Cursive) style with vowels indicated by red dots and orthoepic signs such as tashdid and sukun in green. The codex opens with an illuminated double-page frontispiece (fols. 1b-2a) inscribed with the creed that the Qur'an is God's word uncreated: al-Qur'an kalam Allah ghayr makhluq wa-man qala makhluq fa-huwa kafir bi-Allah al-'Ali al-Azim. The latter is also included in the explicit (fol. 285a). The Qur'anic text begins with an illuminated incipit for chapter 1 (Surat al-fatihah) and chapter 2 (Surat al-baqarah) (fols. 2b-3a). Throughout are illuminated chapter headings with marginal medallions, verse markers in teardrop form, marginal medallions indicating every 10th verse, illumination of the name of Allah, and indications for prostration. The dentelle-style brown goatskin binding with central lobed medallion, pendants, and cornerpieces is attributable to the 10th century AH/AD 16th.
  • The Divine Word and Sacred Sites of Islam. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1997.
  • Speaking the Word of God: Illuminated Korans from the Walters Art Museum. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2007.
Provenance Sultan 'Uthman Khan ibn Mustafá Khan (reigned 1168 AH/AD 1754-1171 AH/AD 1757) [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [Erased seal of Sultan 'Uthman Khan ibn Mustafá Khan and a waqf inscription by Ibrahim Hanif and his seal (fol. 1a)]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1897 [mode of acquisition unknown] [Inscription in pencil: H(enry) W(alters) May 1897 direct from Constantinople (front flyleaf ia)]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1897

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6th century AH/AD 12th century
ink and pigments on laid paper with chain lines that appear to be grouped in twos covered with brown goatskin
(Manuscripts & Rare Books)
Accession Number
Folio H: 13 9/16 x W: 8 1/16 in. (34.5 x 20.5 cm)
  • Iran (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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