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This item has been added to the Database within the Explore Islamic Art Collections project. Information is available in: English.

Name of Object:

The Ibn al-Bawwab Qur’an


Dublin, Ireland

Holding Museum:

The Chester Beatty Library

About The Chester Beatty Library, Dublin

Date of Object:

Hegira 391 / AD 1000–01

Museum Inventory Number:

CBL Is 1431

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Coloured pigments and gold on paper


17.7 x 13.7 cm

Period / Dynasty:



Iraq, Baghdad


Both the calligraphy and the illumination of this Qur’an are the work of Abu’l-Hasan Ali (d. AD 1022), who is more commonly known as Ibn al-Bawwab, because he was the son (ibn) of Hilal, who was a doorkeeper (bawwab). Ibn al-Bawwab is renowned as one of Islam’s greatest calligraphers, and this Qur’an is held to be the only genuine manuscript by him still in existence. In this manuscript, the first two chapters each begin with an illuminated heading, but the beginning of every other chapter is indicated by only a line of gold thuluth script, stating the title of the chapter and the number of verses it contains, and a stylized palmette element that extends into the margin. The manuscript also includes five double pages of illumination.

Citation of this web page:

 "The Ibn al-Bawwab Qur’an" in Explore Islamic Art Collections. Museum With No Frontiers, 2018. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;EPM;ir;Mus21;5;en

MWNF Working Number: IR 05


 Artistic Introduction

Islamic Dynasties / Period


On display in

MWNF Galleries

Calligraphy Manuscripts


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