persian illuminated manuscript


We’re currently processing a collection of rare book leaves. Some of them are beautiful, but extremely difficult to identify!

We have this great page of Persian poetry illuminated with gold leaf boarders and only one sentence of information. Do you know anything about this leaf? Or maybe you know someone who does?

Get in touch via Tumblr or email: Please mention “Persian illuminated manuscript” in the subject line. 


Illuminated Manuscript, Koran, Frontispiece, Walters Art Museum, Ms W.563, fol. 5b by Walters Art Museum
Via Flickr:
This large-format, illuminated Timurid copy of the Qur’an is believed to have been produced in Northern India in the ninth century AH / fifteenth CE. The manuscript opens with a series of illuminated frontispieces. The main text is written in a large vocalized polychrome muḥaqqaq script. Marginal explanations of the readings of particular words and phrases are in thuluth and naskh scripts, and there is interlinear Persian translation in red naskh script. The fore-edge flap of the gold-tooled, brown leather binding is inscribed with verses 77 through 80 from Chapter 56 (Sūrat al-wāqiʿah). The seal of Sultan Bayezid II (1481-1512 CE) appears on fol. 8a. There is an erased bequest (waqf) statement and stamp of Sultan ʿUthmān Khān (1027-31 CE) on fol. 3a.

Islamic Manuscripts in the Walters Museum, Baltimore

I’ve had these images on my hard drive and my Pinterest account for some time… but only just recognized that they were all examples of Islamic manuscripts to be found in the Walters Museum in Baltimore.

I am absolutely stunned at the level of quality of the Islamic manuscripts in the Walters Museum. I visited the museum a decade or so ago, but honestly I remember far more of the Matisse paintings from the Cone Collection at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

There’s a certain irony to the fact that Matisse was clearly inspired by the patterns and colors of Islamic/Persian art. 

The Walters Museum’s collection of Illuminated manuscripts is undoubtedly worth exploring… in real life… or on line: