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Two-volume manuscript in a contemporary case

[Qur'an]. Two-volume Qur'an with accompanying storage case.

Morocco, ca. 1880 / 19th c.

Arabic manuscript on paper. 2 vols. 224 ff.; 252 ff. 11 lines of Maghribi script to the page, diacritics in green red and yellow, surah headings in larger red script. Each volume opens with an illuminated panel containing inscription in gold thuluth script. Contemporary red morocco bindings with stamped central medallion and gilt border. Stored in original painted wooden case.

A fine example of a manuscript Qur'an from the westernmost parts of the Islamic World. The final decades of the 19th century witnessed a late golden age of Moroccan manuscript production and calligraphy. The heading to Surah 1 (al-Fatiha, the opening) in the first volume of this charming two-volume Qur'an set is illuminated in the "kaleidoscope" style typical of the period, with different coloured sections formed by overlapping semi-circles. The Qur'an is bound in high-quality deep red morocco with gilt decoration and is housed in a charming wooden storage box. For similar illumination from the same period, see M. Sijelmassi, "Enluminures des manuscrits royaux au Maroc" (Paris, 1987), especially pp. 104, 108, 110f., 113f.