Collection News / Penn Libraries

The Gold Koran Comes To Penn Libraries

goldkoran1

The Gold Koran is a facsimile reproduction of a manuscript in the Bavarian State Library in Munich (Munic, Cod. arab. 112). The original is thought to have been made in either Iraq or Iran during the 11th century. It is a unique piece in that all of its leaves have been coated with gold, and the scribe wrote the holy text on the gilt in black ink using naskh script. The fragment of a decorative page at the start of the manuscript displays a geometric pattern consisting of octagons, stars, quatrefoils and script medallions. The sura or chapter headings are framed in blue, white and reddish brown cursive script, decorated with floral and arabesque patterns. The text is fully vocalized and the verses separated by rosettes. The codex was lavishly restored in 1967 at the Institute of Book and Manuscript Restoration of the Bavarian State Library. It is this restored codex which forms the basis of the facsimile reproduction acquired by the Fisher Fine Arts Library and the Middle East Division of Penn Libraries. It was acquired from Adeva Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, where it was published in a very limited edition of 480 copies, and has just arrived at Penn. Once it has been processed it will be kept in the Rare Books Section of the Fisher Fine Arts Library. For more information, contact David Giovacchini, davidgio@pobox.upenn.edu

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