Folios from a Qur'an Manuscript

Object Name: Folios from a non-illustrated manuscript

Date: 19th century

Geography: Attributed to possibly Morocco

Medium: Black-brownish ink, and red, yellow, and blue opaque watercolor on paper

Dimensions: written area per page approx. 9.5 x 5.9 cm

Classification: Codices

Credit Line: Bequest of Adrienne Minassian, 1994

Accession Number: 1997.301a, b


The production of these folios from a prayer manuscript can be dated and located by the form of calligraphy, ornament, and palette. The script, maghribi, is a variation of the classical script used in North Africa (specifically Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia) and known for its angular and swirling characters. The text is a series of prayers containing invocations to the wives of the Prophet Muhammad and to Ibrahim (Abraham). The names Allah and Muhammad are highlighted in red or yellow, and rectangular bands and cartouches in blue and other colors mark separations in the text. The size of the book and its worn corners suggest constant use. The paper appears to be European; this is not unusual, since European paper was used extensively throughout North and sub-Saharan Africa during this period. The style of maghribi calligraphy, the distinct ornament and palette, and the presence of borders on each page point to nineteenth-century Morocco as the place of production.