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Walters Ms. W.555, Koran

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Shelf mark




Text title

Vernacular: القرآن


This illuminated fragment of the Qur'an contains chapter 25 (Sūrat al-furqān), verses 21-32 and 39-78; chapter 26 (Sūrat al-shuʿarāʾ); and chapter 27 (Sūrat al-naml), up to verse 40. It probably dates to the late fifth century AH / eleventh CE or early sixth century AH / twelfth CE. The text is written in the New Abbasid (broken cursive) style in black ink and is vocalized with red dots and blue circles, the latter for sukūn. Single verses are separated by illuminated rosettes, and groups of five verses are indicated by the letter hāʾ in the form of a teardrop in the margins. Marginal medallions are also used for larger verse groups. The black leather binding is modern.


5th century AH / 11th CE -- 6th century AH / 12th CE


Central Arab lands






The primary language in this manuscript is Arabic.

Support material


Brown laid paper


Foliation: i+83+i


Catchwords: None

Comments: Lacuna after fol. 4b


10.5 cm wide by 16.5 cm high

Written surface

6.0 cm wide by 10.0 cm high

  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 5

fols. 1a - 83b:
  1. Title: al-Qurʾān
  2. Incipit: يكة او نرى ربنا لقد استكبروا فى انفسهم ...
  3. Hand note: Written in a large New Abbasid (broken cursive) style script with pointed serifs in dark brown ink; vocalization indicated by means of large red dots and blue circles, the latter for sukūn
  4. Decoration note: Single verses separated by rosettes; groups of five verses indicated by the letter hāʾ in a teardrop form in the margins; marginal medallions used for other groups of verses such as ten, twenty, etc.; illuminated six-pointed star on fol. 12b indicating prostration (sajdah)


fol. 1a:

  1. W.555, fol. 1a
  2. Title: Illuminated headpiece with arabesque design and marginal medallion at left
  3. Form: Headpiece
  4. Label: This headpiece is illuminated in gold and decorated with an arabesque design. There is a marginal rosette at the left.

fol. 12b:

  1. W.555, fol. 12b
  2. Title: Text page with marginal illumination
  3. Form: Marginal decoration
  4. Text: Chapter 25 (Sūrat al-furqān)
  5. Label: The first marginal form indicates verse 60 of chapter 25 (Sūrat al-furqān), and the second, in the form of a six-pointed star, indicates prostration (sajdah). The star is painted in black, red, and blue.

fol. 18b:

  1. W.555, fol. 18b
  2. Title: Chapter heading executed in gold ink with red outline
  3. Form: Chapter heading
  4. Text: Chapter 26 (Sūrat al-shuʿarāʾ)
  5. Label: This is a chapter heading executed in gold ink with red outline, from which extends a small palmette outlined in red and blue.

fol. 65b:

  1. W.555, fol. 65b
  2. Title: Chapter heading executed in gold ink with red outline,
  3. Form: Chapter heading
  4. Text: Chapter 27 (Sūrat al-naml)
  5. Label: This chapter heading is executed in gold ink with red outline, from which extends a small palmette outlined in red and blue.


The binding is not original.

Modern black leather binding (without flap); rebound by Macdonald, December 1950


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters bequest


Principal cataloger: Gacek, Adam

Catalogers: Landau, Amy; Smith, Sita

Copy editor: Bockrath, Diane

Conservators: Jewell, Stephanie; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Barrera, Christina; Emery, Doug; Herbert, Lynley; Noel, William; Simpson, Shreve; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.; Valle, Chiara


The Walters Art Museum


Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/legalcode. It is requested that copies of any published articles based on the information in this data set be sent to the curator of manuscripts, The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21201.