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Description Walters manuscript W.554 is a horizontal-format manuscript on parchment. The manuscript is a collection of illuminated fragments of the Qur'an, dating to the late 3rd century AH/AD 9th and possibly to the 5th century AH/AD 11th. The earlier text is written in an Early Abbasid (Kufic) script, and the later text is in a hand influenced by the New Abbasid (Broken Cursive) style. Both are in dark brown ink and vocalized with red dots. The codex opens with an illuminated frontispiece (fol. 1a) of geometric design and closes with a similarly decorated finispiece (fol. 77b). Illuminated forms include chapter headings in gold ink with polychrome palmettes extending into the margin, tashdids highlighted in gold ink, and verse markers for individual verses and groups of 5 and 10 verses. The blind-tooled black goatskin binding, which is attributable to Egypt, is an important example of early Islamic bookbinding.
  • Illuminated Manuscripts: Masterpieces in Miniature. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984-1985.
  • 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 Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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late 3rd century AH/AD 9th century-5th century AH/AD 11th century (Abbasid)
ink and pigments on parchment covered with blind-tooled black goatskin
(Manuscripts & Rare Books)
Accession Number
Folio H: 6 7/8 x W: 10 13/16 in. (17.5 x 27.5 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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