The striking feature of this splendidly decorated late-Safavid Qurʼan of 1714 is its exceptional arrangement. The complete text is compressed onto only 33 leaves with 48 lines to a page in very small but clear naskh script. Each page contains a hizb (smaller section, half of a juz’), and each double page a juz’ (section) of the Qurʼan. The composition of the sumptuously illuminated opening double page is dominated by two vertical rectangles, which are divided into several decorated panels and borders. Gold-decorated cloud cartouches on the margins give this Qurʼan a Shi’ite character. The cartouches are written in Persian in fine shekaste script and contain reports from the life of Muhammad and Qurʼanic commentaries of the sixth Imam, Ja‘far al-Sadiq (died 765). The very well preserved lacquer binding deserves particular attention. The center is a diamond-shaped ornament around which delicately decorated borders are arranged. The exterior frame bears naturalistic blossom motifs, whereas the main panel is covered with stylized floral and tendril work.
Title in Original Language
Type of Item
33 folios : illuminated
- BSB shelfmark: Cod.arab. 1118
- This description of the work was written by Helga Rebhan.
Last updated: November 16, 2017