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Illuminated Manuscript Walters Art Museum Ms. W.554, fol. 36a

This horizontal-format manuscript on parchment is a collection of illuminated fragments of the Qur'an, dating to the late third century AH / ninth CE and possibly to the fifth century AH / eleventh CE. The earlier text is written in an Early Abbasid (Kufic) script, and the later text is in a hand influenced by the New Abbasid (broken cursive) style. Both are in dark brown ink and vocalized with red dots. The codex opens with an illuminated frontispiece (fol. 1a) of geometric design and closes with a similarly decorated finispiece (fol. 77b). Illuminated forms include chapter headings in gold ink with polychrome palmettes extending into the margin, tashdīds highlighted in gold ink, and verse markers for individual verses and groups of five and ten verses. The blind-tooled black goatskin binding, which is attributable to Egypt, is an important example of early Islamic bookbinding. See this manuscript page by page at the Walters Art Museum website: art.thewalters.org/viewwoa.aspx?id=31211
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