Islamic Blue Qur'an leaf among headline lots of Sotheby's sale

A leaf from the Blue Qur'an is to headline a sale of Islamic art at Sotheby's London on April 22 with a $300,000-400,000 estimate.

The book was printed circa the 9th or 10th century AD.

Blue Quran
The Blue Qur'an was one of the finest medieval Islamic manuscripts

Sotheby's explain: "When complete it must have been one of the most luxurious manuscripts ever produced in the early medieval period of the Islamic world.

"Blue was probably symbolic as well as merely luxurious and it is probable that the blue vellum and gold script together were meant to rival the most luxurious manuscripts of the Byzantine Empire, which were dyed blue or purple.

"The exact origins of the Blue Qur'an are unknown but a number of theories have been put forward over the last century; some scholars believe its origins lie in Qairawan, Tunisia, while others have suggested it was produced in Córdoba, Spain.

"If its origins remain elusive, it is universally agreed that it is a startlingly luxurious example of early Islamic manuscript production, whose patron must have been a ruler of enormous wealth and ambition, and that it was one of the most important manuscripts of the Qur'an produced in the medieval Arab world."

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