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Near East Collection: Islamic Book and Bookbinding

Exhibits from the Near East Collection at Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library & Yale University Library

Exhibit "Islamic Book and Bookbinding"

Lacquered Koran binding
(ca. 18th cent.)

This illuminated Koran is copied in ornate Naskhi script with brief marginal notes in Persian (in Nasta`liq script).

The elaborate decoration of this Koran is an example of the way European motifs were incorporated into Islamic arts in the 18th and 19th centuries. The techniques and overall design of the binding and the illuminated text are traditionally Persian, but the execution of the individual flowers, particularly within the medallions and on the interior cover, reflects a European influence.

Beinecke; Arabic ms. 56