Pocket-sized Shiite roll
1012 H\1603-1604 A.D., Turkey

Material
Smooth white paper, no watermark.

Width: 70 mm
Height: 9570 mm

The codex is a rare Shiite talismanic roll. The text of the Koran has been copied in micro-writing and arranged inside a long, frame split into countless, elegant, small gilded frames of varying sizes and shapes, both geometric and floral, containing the complete sūre. Objects of this kind were usually preserved in special metal con...
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Glazed bowl
Persia, Khorasan, 14th century

Material
Ceramic

Diameter: 23 cm

Turquoise glass on a white siliceous body with ultramarine cobalt blue, and inscriptions in Islamic letters on the dark blue band around the edge. All covered in turquoise glass. Some restoration work has been carried out to strengthen the piece. Thermoluminescence certificate
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Vase
14th century, Iran

Material
Glazed ceramics

Height: 23 cm
Diameter: 21 cm

This vase is spherical in shape. The sides of the mouth of the neck narrow visibly towards the top and feature a dark band with a calligraphic motif. On the main ceramic body, three circular medallions are adorned with zoomorphic shapes, spaced out one from the other by decorations of plant shoots. This all surmounts a dark band feat...
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Bowl
14th century, Iran

Material
Fritware

Height: 9 cm
Diameter: 18.3 cm

This bowl is made of engraved, impressed, glazed frit. The sides have been thinned and well-modelled. The upper edge is wide, despite the raised foot of the base. The deep intaglio and fretwork of the ceramic body is the Islamic attempt to create an effect of translucence and imitate Chinese porcelain. The internal register features ...
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Majolica tile
18th century, Syria

Material
Glazed ceramics

Dimensions
Width: 29.7 cm
Height: 25.4 cm
Depth: 2 cm

This tile is a ceramic insert produced by cutting a slab covered in monochrome glazing, then fired. The floral decoration has been produced in an ornate turquoise, dark blue, green and aubergine on a white background, counting it amongst the most famous glazed tiles of the production of the Ottoman Empire in the Syrian area and assig...
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Perfume flask
12th - 13th century, Iran

Material
Glazed ceramics

Height: 12 cm
Diameter: 9 cm

This small flask was used to hold rosewater. Inheriting the archaic silhouette of the pre-Islamic classical period, it is bulb-shaped with a narrow neck. The surface features a monochrome, turquoise-coloured glaze. The top of the perfume holder is decorated with twelve umbos in relief. The same motif is featured in pairs on three par...
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Majolica tile
17th century, Syria

Material
Glazed ceramics

Dimensions
Width: 31 cm
Height: 31 cm
Depth: 4 cm

This tile is a ceramic insert produced by cutting a slab already covered in monochrome glazing, then fired. The floral decoration has been produced in an ornate turquoise, dark blue and aubergine on a white background, counting it amongst the most famous glazed tiles of the production of the Ottoman Empire in the Syrian area and assi...
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Inkpot
9th century, Iran

Material
Copper alloy

Width: 9.5 cm
Height: 13 cm

This cylindrical inkpot is made of bronze. The base is decorated with a central medallion depicting the harmonious alternation of three elegant gazelles surrounded by plant shoots. Three round medallions are inserted to the same number of cartouches, decorated with plant shaped arabesques. The whole surface of the ink holder is enric...
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Bronze jug
9th or 10th century

Material
Bronze alloy

Height: 30 cm

This jug has a rounded belly and long, narrow neck. Kufic inscriptions decorate the surface at the top and base of the neck. At the top of the handle, a stylized pomegranate shaped thumb rest supports the user’s thumb during pouring. Inscription: A sentence of good wishes, repeated three times above and three times below the neck...
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Rosewater flask
9th century, Iran

Material
Copper alloy

Width: 11 cm
Height: 15.5 cm

This small, copper alloy flask was used to hold rosewater. Its complex shape and the thickness of the materials are elements inherited from the classical, pre-Islamic period. The mouth, decorated with geometrical engravings widens at the top, then narrows joining the flat register inscribed with kufic lettering, from which the lobed ...
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Ciotola inscritta
16th century, Iran

Material
Zinc alloy

Height: 6.5 cm
Diameter: 13 cm

Dalla silhouette elegante e ben proporzionata, la ciotola  sbalzata ed incisa a mano ha un profilo leggermente aggettante e un fondo delicatamente convesso. In prossimità del bordo, un registro inscritto a caratteri nastaliq impreziosisce la superficie. In corrispondenza del ventre bombato della ciotola, eleganti volute floreal...
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Cup
16th century, Iran

Material
Zinc alloy

Height: 8 cm
Diameter: 13.8 cm

The silhouette of this cup is both elegant and sinuous. From the jutting profile to the edge and regular to the body, a raised base acts as a support. Near the top, a band is decorated with continuous concentric motifs. The outer face of the cup is enriched with three scroll ornaments depicting animals, and three with plant elements ...
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Inscribed bowl
17th century, Iran

Material
Zinc alloy

Height: 10 cm
Diameter: 20 cm

This bowl has a semi-spherical base and tapered edge, and features an inscribed band decoration under the upper edge. A double band engraved with regular, symmetrical geometries encloses four cartouches inscribed with Thuluth lettering and another four decorated with elaborate plant-shaped motifs. Eight medallions on a plant backgrou...
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Magical cup with inscriptions
Iran, 18th century

Material
Bronze alloy

Diameter: 15 cm

Internal inscriptions: (on the edge of the bowl): “Āyat al-Kursī” (“Verse of the Throne” Koran II, 255); followed by verse 256 of the same chapter: “There is no constraint in religion. The straight road stands out clearly from error. Therefore, those who refuse idols and believe in Allah, grasp the firmest grip without th...
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Basin with inscriptions
17th century, Iran

Material
Copper

Height: 11.7 cm
Diameter: 28.7 cm

This beaten copper, hand-engraved basin is semi-spherical in shape, and has contrasting colours. The bas-relief lithography has been filled using an organic compound produced by mixing ashes, pitch, bitime and black plant bonding agents, the result being elegant and of high aesthetic impact. A geometric profile is featured aroun...
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Inscribed plate
15th century, central Asia

Material
Copper and silver

Height: 1 cm
Diameter: 12.3 cm

This small, copper plate is highly materico to the touch. A square section is decorated with plant shoots in the centre, set in a frame decorated with geometric interlacing. On the outer edge, four elongated, inscribed scroll ornaments are spaced out with circular cartouches between them, decorated with arabesques. On the sides of th...
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Mihrāb
16th century, Syria

Material
Stone

Dimensions
Width: 112 cm
Height: 180 cm
Depth: 55 cm

This niche represents the mihrāb, the arch positioned in the direction of the Mecca which worshippers of the Islamic religion face in prayer. The structure, formed of light and dark stone, is typical of Syrian Islamic architecture and creates a pleasant chromatic effect. The pointed arch is supported by two columns of sculpted marbl...
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Commemorative stele
AH 980/1572-3 A.D., India

Material
White marble

Dimensions
Width: 23 cm
Height: 61 cm
Depth: 23 cm

White marble commemorative stele with Persian inscriptions. The verses are formed of rhyming couplets containing mournful words remembering a loved person. Palmettes rise from the upper corners of the square base, which transform the quadrangular structure of the stele into an eight-sided parallelepipedon. Each section of the oc...
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Mihrāb
19th century, Syria

Material
Majolica

Dimensions
Width: 118 cm
Height: 276 cm
Depth: 1.5 cm

This majolica panel represents the mihrāb, the arch positioned in the direction of the Mecca which worshippers of the Islamic religion face in prayer. The decoration is full of important elements for Muslim culture. It features two perimeter registers, the outer one of which is decorated with saz leaves, a popular Ottoman plant deco...
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Koran page
9th century, Iran

Material
Parchment

Width: 163 mm
Height: 106 mm

La rara pergamena tratta dal Corano contiene l'āyat  (versetto) 16-18 of the sūrat ul-Qaṣaṣ  (XXVIII, "The Tale"), of which the first 4 words at the beginning of verse 16 are missing, and only the first few words of verse 18 are present. The diacritical points are missing, the vowel signs have been marked with red dot...
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Koran page
9th century, Iran

Material
Parchment

Width: 163 mm
Height: 106 mm

This rare parchment taken from the Koran contains āyat (versicle) 266 of the sūrat al-Baqara (II, "The Heifer"), of which only the first three letters of the first word are missing. The diacritic points are absent, and the vowel signs marked with red dots. Moreover, there is marked lengthening of the individual letters an...
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Koran page
10th century, Iran (?)

Material
Parchment

Width: 190 mm
Height: 145 mm

The parchment contains part of sūra IX, Sūrat at-Tauba ("Repentance") from āya (versicle) 102 to 126 (incomplete). Over the years, the dark ink of the manuscript has lost its original colour, and become a light shade of brown. Vowel signs have been marked in red. The originally missing diacritical points were partially added ...
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‘Ālamgirnāma and Ma’asir-i ‘Ālamgiri
India, XVIII century

Material
Paper with no watermark

Width: mm. 205
Height: mm. 325

I. Sheet 1v - 30v short extract from the Ālamgirnāma, "History of the conqueror of the world”, by Muhammad Kāżem, "Munshi” (= Aurangzeb), account of the first ten years of the reign of sovereign Moghul Aurangzeb 1 (1658-1668). The author, who died in Delhi in 1677 or 1668 occupied a prestigious office in the Mughal imper...
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Koran manuscript
17th century, Iran

Material
Paper with no watermark; leather binding

Width: 270 mm
Height: 330 mm

This large Koran of Arab-Persian origin is written in calligraphic, thulūth, vocalised for Arabic and minute red nasta'līq for the interlinear comment in Persian. Of artistic value, the codex features four decorated double page frontispieces with a unique composition with four rhomboidal scroll ornaments, two at the top contai...
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Koran manuscript
18th century, Kashmir, India

Material
Paper with no watermark; leather binding

Width: mm 170
Height: mm 280

The Koran is a manuscript in black Arabic vocalized letters, naskhi with an interlinear translation in Urdu (language of Muslim India, and currently that of Pakistan) in red letters. Both scripts are elegantly set out inside registers marked by double green horizontal lines edged in black which make reading easier. The manuscript has...
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Koran manuscript
1120H/1708-1709 A.D, Iran

Material
Smooth paper; leather binding

Width: 115 mm
Height: 192 mm

The manuscript consists in an elegant, gilded, double page frontispiece with four scroll ornaments, and seven double pages decorated with outer bands embellished with gold floral motifs. The title of each sūra is written inside a finely decorated, gilded rectangular scroll ornament. The nine lined text and interlinear translation ar...
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Koran manuscript
18th century, India (?)

Material
Thin white paper, no watermark; leather binding.

Width: 40 mm
Height: 60 mm

This small Koran has been handwritten in miniaturized calligraphy. The letters are in an elegantly refined nasta'līq, and black and red in colour. The text is framed by a double, gilded profile, bordered in black. The Arabic letters stand out on a gold background. The outer frame edging each page emphasizes the decorations of leaf...
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Koran manuscript
1131 H\1718-1719 A.D., India (?)

Material
Smooth paper; leather binding

Width: 100 mm
Height: 160 mm

This small Koran manuscript is elegantly decorated and adorned with two illuminated, double page frontispieces. The origin of the codex is uncertain, however it can be presumed it is of Indian matrix. The arrangement of the text is full page in a calligraphic naskh charater, minute and vocalised. The codex is entirely decorated with ...
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Illuminated Shiite roll
1217 H\1802-1803 A.D., Iran or Iraq

Material
Smooth white paper, no watermark.

Width: 132 mm
Height: 4017 mm

This Shiite roll is of considerable artistic value and defined by a gold, red and black frame, which encloses geometric and plant decorations on a gold background. Many frames and scroll ornaments contain Koranic verses. Large scroll ornaments featuring plant, geometric and calligraphic drawings are marked out in such a way as to pre...
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Manuscript of the Gospels
1775 A.D., Syria

Material
Smooth white paper, no watermark; cloth binding with embossed silver covers.

Width: 80 mm
Height: 118 mm

This manuscript is clear proof of the relations which existed between the Roman Catholic Church and Arabic-speaking Christians in the Near East. The term Gospel comes from the Greek euanghélion, "good news" or "happy announcement", and indicates the essential content of the preaching of Jesus of Nazareth and the first Christian comm...
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