Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures | 06 December 2017

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Lot no.


A large Ottoman Anam-i Sharif , in Arabic, illuminated manuscript on paper

Sold for £3800

Est: £3000–4000

A large Ottoman Anam-i Sharif , in Arabic, illuminated manuscript on paper, [Ottoman Turkey, dated 1249 AH (1833 AD)]

200 leaves (including one contemporary endleaf at front), complete, single column, 7 lines of black naskh, key words and headings in red, 2 illuminated polychrome headings opening the text with borders decorated in gold around the text panels, 42 decorated hilyehs with illuminated calligraphic panels plus an additional 28 illustrations and diagrams of Islamic iconography including depictions of Mecca, Medina, the Prophet's footprint, sandal and armour among others, decorated final colophon, leaves ruled in gold, small gold roundels marking the verses throughout the text, a few small spots or smudges, mostly affecting margins, spine cracked, a few leaves loose or becoming loose, western ownership inscriptions dating 1931 and 1947 to front free endpaper, 210 by 140 mm.; contemporary morocco with flap, central medallions and corner-pieces stamped in gold, covers also ruled in gold, hinges cracked, spine ends repaired, extremities a little scuffed.

The Anam-i Sharif is a Sunni prayerbook that takes its name from the Surah al-Anam , the sixth surah in the Qur'an, which is usually one of the first surah to feature in the text along with other prayers and a series of hadith. This prayerbook can be seen as an adaptation of Jazuli's Dala'il al-Khayrat because of the inclusion of the Mecca and Medina imagery, however, the Anam-i Sharif includes a wide range of additional illustrations that are not present in Jazuli's text. These illustrations commonly relate to the Prophet Muhammad and items of eschatological relevance such as the prophet's mantle, seal, prayer rug and rosary along with other utensils used to perform his daily purifications and prayer. Such images came to have enhanced power in the Ottoman world after the Sultans began to assiduously collect actual relics of the Prophet, and devotional images of such things became greatly sought after among the Ottoman elites.

These prayerbooks are usually small and easily portable so they can be carried with the devout and used for daily prayers. However, the present manuscript is in an unusually large format, perhaps for artistic effect, in order to make the hilyas and calligraphic panels particularly striking.

Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures

Wednesday 06 December 2017, 2.00pm

Bloomsbury London
Bloomsbury House
24 Maddox Street


Saturday 2 December
11am - 4pm
Sunday 3 December
11am - 4pm
Monday 4 December
9.30am - 5.30pm
Tuesday 5 December
9.30am - 5.30pm
Day of Sale from 9.30am

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