Name of Object:
Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey
Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts
Date of Object:
Hegira Ramadan 713 / AD December 1313
Artist(s) / Craftsperson(s):
Calligrapher: Shadi bin Muhammad bin Shadi bin Dawud bin Isa bin Abu Bakr bin Ayyub; illuminators: Aydoğdu bin Abdullah al-Badri and Ali bin Muhammad al-Rassam.
Museum Inventory Number:
Material(s) / Technique(s):
finished (aharlı) paper, ink, gilding, leather (binding).
Height 35 cm, width 26.5 cm
Period / Dynasty:
This Qur’an is written in Mamluk naskhi script on sheets of finished (aharli) paper with gilding outlined in black. The pages do not have any marginal lines. The leather binding has a flap. The Qur’an opens with an illuminated double-page spread plate, laid out in geometric fashion, in the centre of which is an eight-pointed star containing a Qur’anic verse (sura 41, verse 42). All the polygons formed by the geometric decoration are filled with arabesque motifs. The background of the border framing the geometric decoration is painted in black. The border is filled with arabesques and palmettes containing rosebud-like motifs in fading shades of pink, green and blue. This style of painting is known in Mamluk illumination as the 'Sandal style'.
View Short Description
The names of its calligrapher, its illuminator and the person it was presented to make up three important features that stress the artistic value of a Qur’an. A masterpiece of Mamluk book arts, this Qur’an was written in gold with an illumination establishing a school and it bears the name of the sultan it was presented to.
The Mamluk Sultan Nasir al-Din Muhammad, (he ascended the throne three times: AH 692–4, 698–708, 709–42 / AD 1293–4, 1299–1309, 1310–41)
How date and origin were established:
The colophon gives the date as Ramadan 713 / December 1313.
How Object was obtained:
The work was transferred to the Museum in 1914 from the tomb of Sultan Selim II (974–82 / 1566–74) in the Ayasofya Mosque, Istanbul.
How provenance was established:
The work bears the hallmarks of the Mamluk style and was produced by court masters of the Mamluk palace in Cairo; therefore, it is highly likely that it was produced in Cairo.
Aksoy, Ş., “Der Prachtkoran”, Die Koranbestände des Museums für Türkische Kunst in Istanbul, Berlin, 1999, pp.111–23.
Citation of this web page:
Şule Aksoy "Qur’an" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;tr;Mus01;22;en