Qur'ans and Other Manuscripts from the Collection of Ghassan I. Shaker
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The Ghassan Ibrahim Shaker Collection is an important collection of Qur'ans and other religious manuscripts notable for the quality of their calligraphy and the splendour of their bindings and illumination. Its publication contributes to the growing appreciation of Islamic calligraphy in the West, not only in terms of technical form but also the essential interdependence of script and format with the expression of faith. The collection concentrates on Qur'ans and includes particularly rare and interesting items, such as an Ottoman Turkish translation; its other far-ranging holdings include Qur'ans from Mamluk Egypt in the 13th Century to Ottoman Turkey in the 19th, two royal Qur'ans from Qajar Iran, and manuscripts from the wider Islamic world - from Morocco, Sudan, and Nigeria, from Turkistan, Indonesia, and China, from Mughal India - as well as others produced by calligraphers working under the Ottomans in Bulgaria. The Shaker Collection throws light on the work of famous scribal personalities, such as Yaqut Musta'simi, and on anonymous amateurs, and includes manuscripts by female calligraphers.The accompanying essay discusses practical issues such as scribal training and the preparation of materials, and focuses on the expressive use of lesser-known scripts and layouts.
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