Qur'an Manuscript

Object Name:
Non-illustrated manuscript
dated A.H. 1268/A.D. 1851–52
Made in Turkey
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper; leather binding
H. 6 1/4 in. (15.9 cm)
W. 4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Elizabeth M. Riley, 1980
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 459
Copied in a minute naskh script, the finely written calligraphy of this tiny Qur'an is rivaled only by its exuberant illumination. Both the form of the script and the palette of the illumination are characteristic of late Ottoman manuscript production. The script echoes the style developed by the earlier Turkish calligraphy master Shaikh Hamdullah (d. 1519). Distinct from contemporary Persian examples, Shaikh Hamdullah’s Ottoman naskh tends toward rounded letter forms and upright vertical strokes.
Signature: On the gold of the frame, in white letters:
"written by the noble Sharif (?)/with the help of God Most High"

(translated by Annemarie Schimmel, 9/85)

Inscription: The inscription on the colophon, after the praise of God and blessings on the Prophet, in Turkish naskh script, reads: "this copy was written by the sinful slave who is weaker than an ant, Sayyid Muhammad Nuri, a disciple of Husayn al-Wahbi, may his mighty Lord forgive him, domiciled in Shunmu [?] in the year 1268 after the hegira of him to whom glory and honor belong."
Above medallions there is a secondary medallion on each page that reads, in white letters: "written by the noble Sharif [?] with the help of God Most High."
(translated by Annemarie Schimmel, 9/85)
Elizabeth Riley, New York (until 1980; gifted to MMA)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Perfect Page: The Art of Embellishment in Islamic Book Design," May 17, 1991–August 18, 1991, no catalogue.

Schimmel, Annemarie. "Islamic Calligraphy." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., vol. 50, no. 1 (Summer 1992). pp. 20, 22, ill. fig. 27 (color).