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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Pocket Qur'an

Object Name:
Non-illustrated manuscript
dated A.H. 1200/ A.D. 1785
Country of Origin Iran
Manuscript: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Binding: Pasteboard, opaque watercolor and gold under transparent lacquer varnish
H. 4 5/16 in. (11 cm) W. 2 7/8 in (7.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Louis E. and Theresa S. Seley Purchase Fund for Islamic Art, 2013
Accession Number:
Not on view
The small size of this finely illuminated Qur’an manuscript renders it a portable, intimate object with protective powers. Its use as a talisman is further confirmed by an annotation in a cartouche that refers to it as tilism (Arabic word for "talisman") and the inclusion of a Qur’anic divination chart (fal-i Qur’an) at the back of the manuscript.
Inscription: Inscribed: Saturday, 1st Muharram A.H.1200/A.D. 1785
Sotheby's, London, April 24, 2013, no. 21, to Nader; [ Massoud Nader, London, 2013; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Power and Piety: Islamic Talismans on the Battlefield," August 29, 2016–February 13, 2017, no catalogue.

"24 April 2013." In Arts of the Islamic World. London: Sotheby's, London, 2013. no. 21, p. 24, ill. (color).

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