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Bifolium from the 'Nurse's Qur'an' (Mushaf al-Hadina)
New York, United States of America
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Hegira c. 410 / AD 1019–20
Ink, opaque watercolour, and gold on parchment
Probably Qayrawan, Tunisia
The Mushaf al-hadina was commissioned for donation to the Great Mosque of Qayrawan by the nursemaid of the Zirid ruler Abu-Manad Badis ibn al-Mansur (r. A.D. 996–1016). Written in a form of kufic script that was unique to North Africa, it is remarkable not only for its calligraphy but also for two inscriptions providing documentary evidence it was commissioned by a female servant of a royal medieval household. Female patrons associated with the Zirid court, whether princesses or in royal service, were not uncommon. They commissioned Qur’ans to demonstrate their wealth and piety. The manuscript was copied on animal-derived parchment, which remained in use in this region long after a shift to paper took place in Egypt, Iraq, Syria and Iran.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, James and Diane Burke Gift, in honor of Dr. Marilyn Jenkins-Madina, 2007
"Bifolium from the 'Nurse's Qur'an' (Mushaf al-Hadina)" in Explore Islamic Art Collections. Museum With No Frontiers, 2017. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;EPM;us;Mus23;49;en
MWNF Working Number: US3 49