w w w . m y v i r t u a l m u s e u m . c o m
Nahla B. Nassar
Nour Foundation
Curator and Registrar
Nassar D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art
London, England

North Carolina Museum of Art
May 9, 2002

This is just a gem. Everything about it is perfection. Perhaps not this specific page, but the label is written about this page, so it is open to it. It's just lovely.

Empire of the Sultans
Art of the Ottoman Empire

from the catalogue:
Object 41
Single-Volume Kur'an
Copied by Seyyid Mehmed Nuri
Balkans dated AD 1266 (AH 1849-50)
Polished, deep cream, fine wove paper 308 folios; 15 lines to the page, in nesih, with catchwords; margins ruled in gold and polychrome.
dimensions 17.1 x 11.7 cm; 9.1 x 5.1 cm
binding black morroco leather with painted gilt panels and floral scrolls; doublures of pink paper with gold illuminated borders of saz- leaves and chinoiserie lotus enclosing flowers in vases in rococo frames
signed (folio 308a) katbahu al-'abd al-da'i li-l-Dawlah al-'Aliyyah al-'Uthmaniyyah ad'af al-kuttab al-Sayyid Mohammad Nuri min talamidh Hasan al-Wahbi....
accession no. QUR34
published Sotheby's, London, 11 April 1988
lot no. 125

also from the catalogue:
The illumination of this Kur'an is exceptionally fine. The opening pages of the text (folio 3b-4a) make play with distorted shapes with double bands of inner margins suggestinf the patterns of Bizarre silks. Thirtieths and sixtieths of the text (cuz',hizb) and prostrations (secde) are indicated by graceful marginal sprays and the verse-stops are fine and varied. Other illuminated spreads combine acanthus scrolls, elements fropm the classical Ottaman repertory of chinoiserie foliage, and pomegranate medallions in imaginative designs where the legacy of the Ottaman illumination is nevertheless quite apparent. They demonstrate that, even by the mid-19th century when Ottoman decoration was very much influenced by European taste, it was well able to adapt it to the traditional canon.

The scribe is named as Seyyid Mehmed Nuri, a pupil of Huseyin Vehbi, living (maskanan) in Shumen in Bulgaria, on the borders of the Dubruja.

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