Bookbinding for a Koran

Bookbinding for a Koran


Leather over paper pasteboards; outer cover tooled, blue paint; inner covers openwork designs over colored papers

Overall: 36 x 81.6 cm (14 3/16 x 32 1/8 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1944.495



Islamic book covers generally have a triangular flap attached to the rear cover of the binding which is tucked under the front cover to protect the outside edge of the pages. The outer covers of this particularly elaborate example feature panels with Qur'anic inscriptions, interlace patterns, and a central medallion filled with floral and arabesque designs. The inner covers offer a superb example of leather openwork, a leather technique that originated in northeastern Iran in the 1400s.

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