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Qur'an in Two Volumes with Leather Pouches
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Qur'an in Two Volumes with Leather Pouches

Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Within Islamic cultures of both past and present, the creation of finely-written and decorated manuscripts of the Qur'an (meaning recitation) has been considered the highest form of religious devotion and artistic expression. This Qur'an manuscript examplified the distinctive form given to Islam's sacred text in the Muslim regions of Sub-Saharan Africa beginning in the 15th-16th centuries and continuing into the modern era. It is divided into two separate volumes, each encased within a tooled leather pouch with carrying straps. The text is written on square, loose, leaves of paper in an angular Arabic script known as magribi. The margins are decorated with medallions and cartouches that mark particular Qur'an verses and sections. The beginning and end of each volume are further embellished with full-page illuminations featuring geometric designs typical of Sub-Saharan art. Similar designs decorate the pasteboard covers (exterior and interior) that protect the unbound leaves, which are then wrapped with leather thongs. This work of art is of very high quality and generally excellent condition.
  • Speaking the Word of God: Illuminated Korans from the Walters Art Museum. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2007.
Provenance Present in England, before 1974 [1]. Henry Brownrigg, London, 1980s [2]; purchased by Sam Fogg Rare Books and Manuscripts, London, 1980s [3]; purchased by Walters Art Museum, 2000. [1] According to Sam Fogg [2] Dealer who sold at Portobello Road Market in London [3] Sam Fogg, "Islamic Manuscripts", 2000, no. 22, pp. 56-57
Credit Museum purchase with funds provided by Islamic Acquisition Fund, 2000

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19th century
ink and pigments on cream European laid paper (probably Italian) bound between loose boards fastened with leather, leather satchel
(Manuscripts & Rare Books)
Accession Number
Folio H: 4 5/16 x W: 4 5/16 in. (11 x 11 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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