Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Qur'an case, Nasrid period (1232–1492), second half of 15th century
    Spain
    Leather embroidered with gilt–silver wire; 4 1/4 x 4 7/8 in. (10.8 x 12.4 cm)
    Rogers Fund, 1904 (04.3.458)

    This small Qur'an case, a quintessential devotional and amuletic object, is inscribed with the Nasrid dynastic emblem: "There is no conqueror but God" (La Ghalib ila Allah).

    Gilt silver wire, carefully embroidered, decorates the front and back of the case. The pattern is a balanced composition between abstracted vegetal designs and inscriptions. On the front, the Nasrid shield is set on a decorative background. The declarative inscriptions around the case suggest that it once belonged to a Nasrid ruler, though the particular owner remains unknown. One possible clue to the identify of the owner is a silver embroidered right hand with palm side up at the center of the empty leather space under the flap. The back is not as richly decorated as the front. Yet it is carefully constructed of an embroidered eight-pointed star with four interlaced knots framed by the Nasrid dynastic motto, "There is no conqueror but God," on the right and left.

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    On view: Gallery 457
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  • Qur'an case, Nasrid period (1232–1492), second half of 15th century
    Spain
    Leather embroidered with gilt-silver wire; 4 1/4 x 4 7/8 in. (10.8 x 12.4 cm)
    Rogers Fund, 1904 (04.3.458)


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