SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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Qur'an. Mamluk.

EGYPT, ca. 15th century.
EGYPT, ca. 15th century.

[An ancient text as an American Souvenir]. Arabic manuscript on paper, 350 leaves plus two 19th century fly-leaves, most folios with 13 ll. of bold black naskh script, with red highlights, with old repairs, marginal defects, and some soiling, first few leaves including opening with marginal losses intruding on floral border. Bound in 19th century tan sheep, an impressive specimen, albeit an early 19th century hand on a lower leaf indicates the manuscript is missing 4 chapters. Folio, 28 x 19 cm., text panel 22 x 14 cm., Provenance: Swann Galleries, March 8th 1962, lot 254, sold by descendants of Mildred Lacy Williamson of Santa Barbara. An earlier inscription by (likely) Capt. J.C. Culbertson (1791-1868) a veteran of the war of 1812 who purchased the book on a trip to Cairo in 1852 and had it bound on his return. He indicated in pencil that it was "500 or 600 years" which would place it in the 13th-14th centuries, but the script comparison favours a more conservative date. Overall, a very interesting exemplar with indisputable old provenance - especially of an American that was obviously fascinated with acquiring an ancient text as a souvenir of his voyage.