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Lot 308•,R
A small illuminated Qur'an
Qajar Persia, dated AH 1236/AD 1820-21
18 – 26 May 2023, 12:00 BST
London, New Bond Street

Sold for £1,275 inc. premium

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A small illuminated Qur'an
Qajar Persia, dated AH 1236/AD 1820-21

Arabic manuscript on paper, 196 leaves, 21 lines to the page written in small naskhi script in black ink within cloudbands on a gold ground, diacritics and vowel points in black and red, inner margins ruled in black and gold, illuminated devices in outer margins, sura headings written in naskhi script in red ink on a gold ground within an illuminated panel, one double-page illuminated frontispiece in colours and gold the two leaves separated and misbound at beginning and end of the manuscript, floral lacquer binding, doublures with floral designs in cartouches on a ground of floral motifs, in European half-marbled box binding, spine stamped Koran MS
100 x 59 mm.; box binding 159 x 100 mm.


Private UK collection: acquired by the current owner's maternal grandfather, J. P. Foster, from an antiquarian book dealer near the British Museum, London, in the 1940s.

The last two lines of the colophon seem to be in a different hand and ink, and give the name of Zayn al-'Abidin Muhammad bin Husayn al-Khwansari, who copied the manuscript after collating it from the beginning to the end in a state of poverty and shortness of livelihood.

The only Zayn al-'Abidin al-Khwansari in the literature is said to be the son of Mulla Malik (not Husayn) and his recorded work is dated between AH 1236/AD 1820-21 (a manuscript of the Zad al-ma'ad, not a Qur'an) and AH 1244/AD 1828-29.

The added notes in shikasteh relate to the times of each day of the week to take divinations with the Qur'an.

Important Notice to Buyers
Some countries e.g., the US, prohibit or restrict the purchase by its citizens (wherever located) and/or the import of certain types of Iranian-origin works. As a convenience to buyers, Bonhams has marked with the symbol R all lots of Iranian (Persian) origin. It is each buyer's responsibility to ensure that they do not bid or import a lot in contravention of the sanctions or trade embargoes that apply to them.

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