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Stand for a Qur'an Manuscript

Maker:
Zain(?) Hasan Sulaiman Isfahani
Object Name:
Qur'an stand
Date:
dated A.H. 761/A.D. 1360
Geography:
Iran or Central Asia
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Wood (teak); carved, painted, and inlaid
Dimensions:
W. (when closed) 16 1/8 in. (41 cm) H. (when closed) 51 1/4 in. (130.2 cm) Dimensions when open: H. 45 in. (114.3 cm) W. 50 in. (127 cm) D. 16 1/2 in. (41.9 cm)
Classification:
Wood
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1910
Accession Number:
10.218
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 450
Three layers of superb carving combining vegetal motifs and calligraphic inscriptions cover the surface of this Qur'an stand. The inscriptions include decorative arrangements of the words Allah, 'Ali, and Muhammad, and blessings upon the Prophet and the Twelve Imams. In addition, they provide us with the information that the stand was made by Hasan [ibn] Zain ibn Sulaiman al‑Isfahani for endowment to a madrasa, or theological college, in the year 1360.
Signature: Arabic inscription on the inner face of the Qur'an stand in thuluth script-in six segments-three of which are missing:

1 and 6 on right side
4 and 5 left side
Missing is side 2, 3 and half of side 4

"Oh God! May He bless Muhammad and his family and peace and that (…) / … and the commander of the believers 'Ali ibn Abi Talib /, may God's good favor be upon all of them! / Endowment of the madrasa Sadr-abad in Anar , may God protect and preserve it from the transitoriness (of time)! [made in] in [the month of ] Dhu l-Hijja [of the year A.H.] 761 [/ October-November 1360 A.D.]

(After a religious formula: The beginning of the inscription has been defaced. It may have included the names of the first three caliphs. The designs on the exterior bearing the names of the twelve Shi'a Imams must be carved later than the date of the stand)

On the top square panel outside (in each side) is the word Allah is written four times in square thuluth script

On the bottom panels there are Shi'i prayers for the Prophet Muhammad and twelve imams in thuluth script

(on one side up until Muhammad Baqir and on the side until al-Hujjat al-Mahdi (the last and absent Imam).

The bottom panel under the flower vase in angular kufic

(The sovereignty belongs to God)

on the other side


(The gratitude to God)

The name of the wood carver on the two corners of one side written in naskhi script as:


The work of Hasan-i Zain-i Sulaiman-i Isfahani

Inscription: Inscribed in Arabic in thuluth script on inner face of stand in six segments,
three of which are missing:

اللهم صلّ علی محمد و علی آل محمد سلّم و
]. . .[ و أمیر المؤمنین علي بن . .
ابي طالب رضوان الله علیهم اجمعین
وقف مدرسهٔ صدر آباد انار صانها الله عن الآفات — في ذي الحجة حجة إحدی و ستین
و سبعمائة
May God bless Muhammad and his family and [. . .] and the commander
of the faithful ‘Ali son of Abi Talib, may God’s good favor be upon all of
them! Endowed to the Madrasa Sadrabad in Anar, may God protect and
preserve it from disaster! In the month of Dhu l-Hijja of the year A.H. 761
[October – November 1360 A.D.]

On top square panel outside (in each side), four times in square thuluth script:
الله
Allah

On bottom panels in thuluth script:
[Shi‘i prayers for the Prophet Muhammad and the Twelve Imams
(on one side up to Muhammad Baqir, on other up to al-Mahdi)]

On bottom panel under flower vase in angular kufic script:
الملك لله
Dominion [belongs to] God

On other side:
الشكر لله
Gratitude is to God

On two corners of one side, signature in naskhi script:
عمل زین؟ حسن سلیمان اصفهانی
The work of Zain[?] Hasan Sulaiman Isfahani
Sadrabad Madrasa, Anar, Iran (from 1360); [ Tabbagh Frères, Paris and New York, until 1910; sold to MMA]
Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Mohammedan Decorative Arts. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1930. p. 93, ill. fig. 41 (b/w).

Pope, Arthur Upham. An Introduction to Persian Art Since the Seventh Century A.D.. London: Peeter Davies, Ltd. by the Shenval Press, 1930. p. 190, ill. fig. 95 (b/w).

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 119, ill. fig. 66 (b/w).

Kurz, Otto. "Folding chairs and Koran stands." In Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, edited by Richard Ettinghausen. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1972. p. 307, ill. fig. 12 (b/w).

Ettinghausen, Richard. "Islamic Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 33, no. 1 (Spring 1975). ill. p. 21 (color).

Welch, Stuart Cary. The Islamic World. vol. 11. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. pp. 68-69, ill. fig. 50 (color).

Lentz, Thomas W., and Glenn D. Lowry. "Persian Art and Culture in the Fifteenth Century." In Timur and the Princely Vision. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1989. no. 9, p. 330.

Blair, Sheila S., and Jonathan M. Bloom. The Art and Architecture of Islam 1250-1800. Yale University Press Pelican History of art. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1994. p. 24, ill. pl. 28 (b/w).

de Montebello, Philippe, and Kathleen Howard, ed. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. 6th ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992. p. 321, ill. fig. 25 (color).

Baer, Eva. Islamic Ornament. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1998. p. 22, ill. fig. 25 (b/w).

Rossabi, Morris, Charles Melville, James C.Y. Watt, Tomoko Masuya, Sheila S. Blair, Robert Hillenbrand, Linda Komaroff, Stefano Carboni, Sarah Bertelan, and John Hirx. The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia, 1256–1353, edited by Stefano Carboni, and Linda Komaroff. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002. no. 176, pp. 132, 281, ill. fig. 159 (color).

Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 66, pp. 107-108, ill. p. 107 (color).

Ekhtiar, Maryam, and Claire Moore, ed. "A Resource for Educators." In Art of the Islamic World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. pp. 48-49, ill. pl. 5 (color).



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