Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Qur'an Manuscript

Object Name:
Non-illustrated manuscript
dated A.H. 1268/A.D. 1851–52
Made in Turkey
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper; leather binding
H. 6 1/4 in. (15.9 cm)
W. 4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Elizabeth M. Riley, 1980
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 459
Copied in a minute naskh script, the finely written calligraphy of this tiny Qur'an is rivaled only by its exuberant illumination. Both the form of the script and the palette of the illumination are characteristic of late Ottoman manuscript production. The script echoes the style developed by the earlier Turkish calligraphy master Shaikh Hamdullah (d. 1519). Distinct from contemporary Persian examples, Shaikh Hamdullah’s Ottoman naskh tends toward rounded letter forms and upright vertical strokes.
Signature: On the gold of the frame, in white letters:
"written by the noble Sharif (?)/with the help of God Most High"

(translated by Annemarie Schimmel, 9/85)

Inscription: The inscription on the colophon, after the praise of God and blessings on the Prophet, in Turkish naskh script, reads: "this copy was written by the sinful slave who is weaker than an ant, Sayyid Muhammad Nuri, a disciple of Husayn al-Wahbi, may his mighty Lord forgive him, domiciled in Shunmu [?] in the year 1268 after the hegira of him to whom glory and honor belong."
Above medallions there is a secondary medallion on each page that reads, in white letters: "written by the noble Sharif [?] with the help of God Most High."
(translated by Annemarie Schimmel, 9/85)
Elizabeth Riley, New York (until 1980; gifted to MMA)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Perfect Page: The Art of Embellishment in Islamic Book Design," May 17, 1991–August 18, 1991, no catalogue.

Schimmel, Annemarie. "Islamic Calligraphy." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., vol. 50, no. 1 (Summer 1992). pp. 20, 22, ill. fig. 27 (color).

Related Objects

Khusrau and Shirin

Artist: Written by Hatifi Date: dated A.H. 904/A.D. 1498–99 Medium: Main support: ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper; binding: leather Accession: 69.27 On view in:Gallery 460

Calligraphic Galleon

Artist: 'Abd al-Qadir Hisari Date: dated A.H. 1180/ A.D. 1766–67 Medium: Ink and gold on paper Accession: 2003.241 On view in:Gallery 459

'Saz'-style Drawing of a Dragon amid Foliage

Artist: Shah Quli (Turkish, born Tabriz, Iran, active ca. mid-16th century) Date: ca. 1540–50 Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Accession: 57.51.26 On view in:Gallery 460

Qur'an Manuscript

Artist: Date: 15th–16th century
Accession Number: 68.179
Date: 15th–16th century Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper. Binding: leather; tooled and gilded Accession: 68.179 On view in:Gallery 450

Futuh al-Haramain (Description of the Holy Cities)

Artist: Muhi al-Din Lari Date: mid-16th century Medium: Main support: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Binding: Leather Accession: 32.131 On view in:Gallery 460