A Maghribi Qur‘an Folio

Andalusia or North Africa, 13th – 14th century

Ink, opaque watercolour and gold on parchment

22.8cm x 20cm (folio); 18cm x 16cm (text area)

Provenance: Private USA Collection; acquired by Wilfrid Jasper Walter Blunt on Charing Cross Road in London, September 1948.

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Full Description

A Maghribi Qur‘an Folio

This folio from a Qur‘an is written in Maghribi script, a style of handwriting that was predominantly used in North Africa and Islamic Spain from the 11th century. It is written on parchment which is typical for Qur‘ans from the region in the 13th and 14th centuries, despite the use of paper throughout the rest of the Islamic World.

Each side of the folio consists of nine lines of brown script with blue and red diacritic marks, and gold tri-lobed ayat (verse) markers. The text is from Surah (chapter) V, Al-Ma‘ida (The Table) of the Qur‘an, the recto bearing the last half of Ayah 29 through Ayah 31, and the verso showing Ayah 32 in addition to the beginning of Ayah 33. The eighth line on the recto side bears a faint outline of a medallion in the margin. 

This folio was once in the possession of Wilfrid Jasper Walter Blunt (1901-87), who acquired it on Charing Cross Road, London, in September of 1948. Blunt was a British artist, writer and art historian who worked as an art teacher and later became curator at the Watts Gallery in Surrey, England. 

For a further example of a Maghribi Qur‘an folio with 9 lines of script, see James, pp. 214-15, Cat. No. 53. 


James, D. The Master Scribes: Qur‘ans of the 10th to 14th centuries AD, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, Volume II, The Nour Foundation, London, 1992. 

A Maghribi Qur‘an Folio