Leather; stamped, painted, gilded, and inset with turquoise
H. 14 in. (35.6 cm)
W. (closed) 10 in. (25.4 cm)
W. (open) 27 in. (68.6 cm)
D. 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1956
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 462
The stamped and gilded techniques used for this leather binding were common in the Middle East, especially in Iran where the art first developed, and in Turkey, where it was perfected. Central almond-shaped medallions and concave fillings in the four corners are common features of Islamic books. Ottoman book covers with this kind of composition and floral design served as models for a great number of Venetian Renaissance bookbindings and, more surprisingly, Venetian furniture as well.
Inscription: In Arabic, enclosed in cartouches along the edges of the front cover. Sayings of the Prophet in regard to the importance and advantages of reading the Qur'an.
In Arabic, in two cartouches on back cover. Translation: None shall touch it save the purified ones. A revelation by the Lord of the Worlds. (Qur'an, chapter 16, verses 79-80)
[ John Howell, San Francisco, until 1956; sold to MMA]
Denny, Walter B. How to Read Islamic Carpets. New Haven and London: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 69, ill. fig. 55 (color).
Walters Art Museum. "An Exhibition Held at the Baltimore Museum of Art November 12, 1957–January 12, 1958." In The History of Bookbinding, 525-1950 AD. Baltimore: Walters Art Museum, 1957. no. 87, ill. pl. XX right.
"Gold." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 31, no. 2 (Winter 1972/1973). pp. 69-121.
Ettinghausen, Richard. "Islamic Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 33, no. 1 (Spring 1975). p. 52, ill. (b/w).
Carboni, Stefano, ed. Venezia e l'Islam, 828–1797. Venice: Marsilio Editori, 2007. no. 103, pp. 259, 348, ill. p. 259 (color).
Carboni, Stefano, ed. Venice and the Islamic World, 828–1797. New York and New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007. no. 129, pp. 240-241, 334, ill. p. 240 (color).