Lot n° 1
12000 - 15000
Grand folio d'un coran coufique sur vélin
North Africa or Andalusia, 9th or 10th century
Text: Sura al-Taha (20), vv. (part) 134-135 and Sura al-Anbiya' (21), vv.1-11 (part). Arabic manuscript of 14ll. in kufic (hybrid style between B.II and D). Vocalization in red, verses marked by three oblique dashes in black ink, replaced by three small gold discs, khams marked by a gold ha', 'ashr in letters with numerical value (abjad) in illuminated rosettes, the first on the front, "qaf, lam, ha'" (135), the second on the back "ya" (10). Title in gold highlighted in sepia. Stains and slight restoration.
Text: 15.5 x 24 cm; Page: 25.1 x 33.5 cm
Two sections from a copy with the same dimensions, number of lines, and illumination and subdivision features were sold successively at Christie's, Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds Including Oriental Rugs and Carpets, London, May 2, 2019, lot 2; Christie's, Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds Including Oriental Rugs and Carpets, London, October 28, 2020, lot 9. There is also a large portion of this manuscript, preserved in the library b. Yūsuf in Marrakech (Catalogue Exhibition Masahif al-Maghrib, National Library of the Kingdom of Morocco in Rabat, 06-31 May 2011, Ministry of Culture, pp. 122-23).
The attribution to the Western Mediterranean rather than the East is based on the use of abjad markers. Indeed, according to a table of numerical values corresponding to the letters of the abjad, published by François Déroche, six letters do not have the same value depending on the origin of the manuscript between the East and the Maghreb, the value 60 is indicated by the letter "sin" in the East and by "sad" in the Maghreb (F. Déroche, Manuel de codicologie des manuscrits en écriture arabe, Bibliothèque nationale de France, 2000, p.104). The sections cited above, from the same set as our folio, include a tenfold marker using the letter sad for the sixtieth verse. It should be noted, however, that this distinction does not seem to be attested in manuscripts in kufic script that can be dated to the first three, or even four, centuries of Islam (see, for example, BnF Arabic 331, f.18r; BnF Arabic 339, f.15r).
Return to catalogue