A journey to search my soul

This is a blog of my personal collections. The purpose of this blog is to educate myself and public in regards to antiquities especially related to religion and calligraphy. I welcome everyone to input their feedback in this blog which they think would be helpful. I do not watermark the photos in this blog so everyone is free to use them as long as they are not used for illegal and unethical reasons. I appreciate if you could notify me if you plan to use any of the photos here. Enjoy browsing!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ancient Manuscript Review 109 : Antique Mamluk Qur'an folio ( 12th century)

This is a folio from a Quran. I acquired this leaf from a friend in Istanbul recently. He claimed this is from Mamluk.
 From the design especially on the roundel, it undoubtedly of Mamluk. However I am puzzled on the script used thoughout text block. As far as I know Muhaqqaq was used during the time of Mamluk. At first I could not figure out the script in this folio. The title was written in Muhaqqaq or Thuluth all right. However the rest of the script was so compact and letters are so close to each other. Could this possibly a smaller version of Muhaqqaq which is Reyhani and written in a compact way?
I did some research and comparisons and I found out that similar script was used in Mushaf of Mamluk displayed in the book, The Art of Calligraphy on plate 34. The script is called compact rayhan. In Nassar Mansour book titled Sacred Script Muhaqqaq in Islamic Calligraphy, there is also a similar calligraphy on page 161 which he called this script Rayhan which is a smaller version of Muhaqqaq.
From the book " The 1400th Anniversary of the Quran", the Quran leaves depicted were quite similar in the script execution i.e Rayhan script.
However from "Splendours of Quran Calligraphy & Illuminations" on 11th century Al Bawwab's Quran, plate 27, the script is quite similar to my leaf but Martin Lings labelled it as Naskh. Nassar argued that this script in fact was Rayhan and he detailed out the reasons in his book as mentioned above from page 60-72.

Title Page :
Content    : Surah Taghabun from Al Quran
Date         :12-14th century
Copyist    : Anonymous
Patron      : n/a
Origin      : Iraq/Iran
Place acquired : Istanbul
Illuminations : Nil
Calligraphy : Main text in compact Rayhan script. Titles in gold in Thuluth
Number of lines :18 lines per page
Inks          : Black with subtitles in gold
Punctuation: gold floral disc with multi color dots around it.
Frame       : Double red line frame
History of Manuscript : Acquired from a friend who has a manuscript bazaar in Istanbul. He has a few folios from the same Quran. But I only bought a folio from him.
Number of folios : 1 f
Support of writing : Brownish oriental paper
Gatherings : N/A
Catchwords :Nil
Dimensions : 23.5 cm x 16.5 cm
Binding   : Nil
Estimated Market Price :
Purchased Price : USD
Remarks : The calligraphy in this manuscript is quite compact compared to typical Mamluk Muhaqqaq Quran. I have a quran written in Muhaqqaq and notice the difference.

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