Shapero Rare Books unveils ancient Qur’anic manuscript

Shapero Rare Books unveils ancient Qur’anic manuscript



The manuscript has an asking price of £850,000.

Bookworms, this one’s for you. London’s Shapero Rare Books has unveiled one of the earliest Qur'anic folios. If you have a spare £850,000, the item has come to the market from a private collector. 

The early Qur'an folio is written in Hijazi script, which means it originated from the region of the Hijaz in the Arabian Peninsula. The area includes Mecca and Medina, and is where Prophet Muhammad PBUH unified the Arabian tribes with Islam. The manuscript was written over 100 years before the Book of Kells, which dates to 800 AD. 

The Qur'anic folio showcases how the religion spread from Mecca to several continents. Hijazi Qur’an fragments are normally in the form of single leaves, and it is rare to come across a manuscript. Plus, many are in museums and libraries, and not available to an open market.

Shapero Rare Books

Shapero Rare Books is located on New Bond Street and is home to antiquarian literature, travel and reference books. The store’s Near East & Islamic specialist, Roxana Kashani, explained: "It is a real privilege to be able to offer one of these early manuscripts to the market. The formalisation of the written Arabic language, along with the developments in the aesthetics of manuscript production in the eighth century, firmly places our manuscript in the seventh century, making it one the very earliest examples of Qur'anic script". 

The Qur'anic folio will also be on display at the TEFAF Maastricht fair from 9 to 14 March. Taking place in the Netherlands, it is one of the world’s leading fairs for fine art. The event brings together more than 260 dealers from 20 countries.

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