Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Portable Qur’an Manuscript

Object Name:
Non-illustrated manuscript
Date:
17th century
Geography:
Iran or Turkey
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Ink and gold on paper; leather binding
Dimensions:
H. 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm) W. 1 1/4in. (3.2 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Gift of Joseph W. Drexel, 1889
Accession Number:
89.2.2156
Not on view
Diminutive Qur’ans were used both as amulets and devotional objects. Historical texts and paintings reveal that in Ottoman Turkey tiny manuscripts like this example, referred to as sançak (banner) Qur’ans, functioned as talismanic pendants which were placed in metal boxes or pouches and attached to the shaft of military standards (ʿalams). They were also sometimes worn as armbands or around a soldier’s neck, or they could have been affixed to a weapon or a ceremonial object. Although difficult to read due to the small size of the writing, these Qur'ans were thought to empower and protect the sultan and his troops in battle.
Joseph W. Drexel, New York (until d. 1888); his widow, Lucy Wharton Drexel(1888–89; gifted to Museum in Joseph Drexel's name)
Related Objects

Kitab suwar al-kawakib al-thabita (Book of the Images of the Fixed Stars) of al-Sufi

Artist: `Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi (Iranian, Rey 903–986 Shiraz) Date: late 15th century Medium: Ink and gold on paper; leather binding Accession: 13.160.10 On view in:Gallery 453

The Lovers

Artist: Painting by Riza-yi `Abbasi (ca. 1565–1635) Date: dated A.H. 1039/ A.D. 1630 Medium: Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper Accession: 50.164 On view in:Gallery 462

Folio from a Qur'an Manuscript

Date: ca. 1180 Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Accession: 29.160.23 On view in:Gallery 451

"The Concourse of the Birds", Folio 11r from a Mantiq al-tair (Language of the Birds)

Artist: Painting by Habiballah of Sava (active ca. 1590–1610) Date: ca. 1600 Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper Accession: 63.210.11 On view in:Gallery 455

"Tahmuras Defeats the Divs", Folio 23v from the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Shah Tahmasp

Artist: Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020) Date: ca. 1525 Medium: Opaque watercolor, ink, silver, and gold on paper Accession: 1970.301.3 On view in:Gallery 462