During the Ilkhanid period, a series of magnificent, large‑scale Qur'an manuscripts were produced. While few can be directly linked to royal patronage, the size and quality of their paper, along with their splendid calligraphy and illumination, suggest they were produced for members of the Ilkhanid court. This folio from the "Anonymous Baghdad Qur'an" (so called due to its unknown patron) provides not only its date and place of production, but also the name of its masterful calligrapher and illuminator.
Inscription: Inscription in Arabic in “new-style” script in borders at top and bottom:
بغداد حماها الله تعالی في شهور/ سنة سبع وسبعمائة هلالیة
Baghdad, may God, the exalted, protect her, in the months of the year A.H. 707 [1307–8 A.D.] hilali [calendar]
Inscription in Arabic in muhaqqaq script at center:
احمد بن السهروردي البکري/ حامداً ومصلیاً علی نبیه/ محمد وآله وصحبه مسلماً
Ahmad ibn Suhrawardi al-Bakri praises God and prays for His messenger Muhammad, his family, and his companions and salutes.
[ Khalil Rabenou, New York, until 1955; sold to MMA]
James, David. Qur'ans of the Mamluks. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1988. no. 39, pp. 78-92; 235, ill. (b/w; color).
de Montebello, Philippe, and Kathleen Howard, ed. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. 6th ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992. p. 320, ill. fig. 21 (color).
Blair, Sheila S. Islamic Calligraphy. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Library, 2006. p. 252, ill. fig. 7.4 (color), microscopic detail.
Rossabi, Morris, Charles Melville, James C.Y. Watt, Tomoko Masuya, Sheila S. Blair, Robert Hillenbrand, Linda Komaroff, Stefano Carboni, Sarah Bertelan, and John Hirx. The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia, 1256–1353, edited by Stefano Carboni, and Linda Komaroff. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002. no. 64, pp. 204; 258-259, ill. fig. 245 (color).
Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 54B, pp. 87, 92-94, ill. p. 93 (color).