Section from a Qur'an Manuscript, Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on parchment

Section from a Qur'an Manuscript

Object Name:
Section from a non-illustrated manuscript
9th–early 10th century
Attributed to Egypt or Iraq
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on parchment
H. 9 5/8 in. (24.4 cm)
W. 13 5/8 in. (34.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1940
Accession Number:
40.164.3a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 451
Like many early Qur’an folios, this example is written in parchment in black ink using a broad-nibbed reed pen. The emphatically elongated letters seen here are characteristic of early kufic Qur’ans on parchment, and are thought to be a response to the shift to the horizontal format of the rectangular page. The angular script is moderated by the roundness of several letters that look like large black dots, their inner blank spaces reduced almost to a needlepoint. Red dots indicate the vowel marks, while rosette patterns mark the ends of verses.
[ Mrs. Kamer Aga-Oglu, Ann Arbor, MI, until 1940; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Celestial Pen: Islamic Calligraphy," September 28, 1982–February 7, 1983, no catalogue.