12th century Quran leaf to sell on April 20

A leaf from an 11th or 12th century Quran will auction at Sotheby's on April 20 with an estimate of £200,000-300,000 ($78,260-417,390).

Other pages from the same book are housed in some of the world's top museums, including the Smithsonian in Washington and New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Quran Sothebys Kufic
The sheet is from a stunning medieval Quran

They are prized for the complexity of their composition.

Sotheby's comments: "This folio is an example of one of the most striking and beautiful Quranic scripts.

"It originates from a Quran of majestic elegance and breathtaking graphic power, and the decoration of the background of the entire text area throughout the manuscript marks it out as one of the most luxuriously decorated Qurans of the medieval period.

"The original manuscript was produced in thirty volumes, each containing around seventy-five leaves, giving a total of approximately 2,250 leaves (Saint Laurent 1989)."

A 16th century Ottoman-era tortoiseshell scribe's box carries an identical estimate of £200,000-300,000 ($278,260-417,390).

The box was given as a gift to an ambassador by a 19th century sultan. It shows the power and reach of the empire in its use of tortoiseshell and other exotic materials like mother of pearl.

Bonhams' sale of Islamic and Indian art on April 19 will feature a rare Timurid carving.

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