Kashmiri Qur'an manuscript.
Folio (205 x 312 mm). Arabic manuscript on paper. 53 ff., 33 lines to the page written in minute ghubar script in black ink, verse separated by a gold roundel, surah heading in red thuluth on gold background, margins illuminated with gilt discs or lozenges inscribed in red and enclosed within ornamental borders dotted in blue; fols. 1b-2a with a double-page illuminated frontispiece, lavishly coloured and gilt. Contemporary blindstamped and gilt black leather binding; spine rebacked. Marbled pastedowns.
A fine, complete Qur'an manuscript, written in meticulous ghubar script and with pretty illumination, originating from the Kashmir region in the late 18th century. The characteristic calligraphy is known as "ghubar", or "dust script", for the minuscule size of its rounded letter forms. Created around the 10th century, it was first used for information and commands conveyed by carrier pigeon. Even the present, more generous form fits the entire Holy Qur'an into a slim folio of only fifty-odd pages.
Edges occasionally very slightly chipped but generally very fine. Binding well preserved with modern spine. The central compartment of the pretty binding shows a Qur'anic verse (Surah 56, verse 79: "to be touched only by the purified") stamped in blind three times on both covers.
Provenance: Parisian private collection (2nd half of the 20th century).