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British Library puts online a 2,000-page Qur’an written in gold 

May 9, 2018

The British Library has put online a magnificent Qur’an which is written in gold.

This seven-volume Qur’an was produced in Cairo between 1304 and 1306 AD and is the earliest dated Qur’an of the Mamluk period.

In 2002, selected pages were made available online as a ‘virtual’ manuscript. The British Library has now digitised all seven volumes cover-to-cover. It was purchased by the British Museum from the antiquarian booksellers T & W Boone in 1858.

It measures 47.5 x 32 cm. Its calligrapher, Muhammad ibn al-Wahid, worked with a team of three illuminators, Muhammad ibn Mubadir, Abu Bakr Sandal and Aydughdi ibn ‘Abdallah. It has 2,188 pages written in gold thuluth script.


The gold thuluth script is outlined in black, with vowels marked in red and other spelling signs in blue. The layout of the calligraphy is also of special interest. Usually there are an odd number of lines per page but this one has six lines of text per page.


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