Christie’s London recently concluded (June 25) the ‘Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds Including Oriental Rugs and Carpets’ auction, which had a spectacular range of manuscripts, objects and paintings from across the Middle East, India and Europe.
This auction of exquisite antiquities sold a rare Iranian Quran at a whopping £7 million! Dating back to the 15th century, this Timurid or Aqquyunlu Quran is written on Ming-era Chinese paper.
This ancient manuscript belongs to the Timurid dynasty (1370–1507), which was a clan of the Turco-Mongol descendants named after the founder of the dynasty, Timur.
The holy book features elegant Naskh Arabic script on heavily coloured Chinese paper in deep blue, turquoise, pink, purple, orange, green and cream.
The text is in gold and blue with gold roundel verse markers, sura headings (chapter in Quran) are in gold Thultuh (a script variety of Islamic calligraphy by Muqlah Shirazi).
Certain important words from this text and the medallions in the margin are illuminated in gold, blue and white; and many folios are illuminated with elegant flowers and landscapes in gold beneath the text.
Breathtakingly beautiful, this holy book is covered with a stamped and gilt Safavid binding.
The auction house had expected to fetch between £600,000 and £900,000, but price realised was £7,016,250, which is almost 12 times the original price.