31 March Wednesday

Works of High Historical Value Arrive at Istanbul

Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) has purchased from the Sotheby's auction house nine pages of the Koran and other handwritten works, part of the “Art of the Islamic World and India” collection. Handwritten works, 1200 years old containing surah Az-Zukhruf, 1100 years old containing surah Al-Ma’idah, and 700 years old pages from the Koran, Masnavi, and Bahaaddin Walad's Ibtidah-Namah are now part of Istanbul.

Following its 2020 purchase of the portrait of Fatih, from the National Gallery and later displayed at Saraçhane Exhibition Hall, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) has continued to purchase other works of high historical value. From Sotheby’s of London auction of the "Art of the Islamic World and India" collection containing 183 historic works, the IMM added to its collection pieces including handwritten pages from the Koran and the Masnavi and hand-woven carpets. The IMM Assistant General Secretary Mahir Polat stated that a collection of high value had now been brought to its homeland. Mr. Polat announced that the collection would meet Istanbulites first at the Saraçhane Exhibition Hall, and later at the Feshane Sufism Museum, of which construction is continuing.

The Significant of Arrival of the Koran

Mr. Polat, who mentioned that the pages from the Koran purchased at the auction are exceedingly rare, added “Examples dated to such ancient times are of limited quantity. It is quite valuable that the Koran has reached the Islamic World. The handwritten Korans surviving to our age vary from whole copies to single pages.”

Mr. Polat stated that precious artistic and cultural works from the East were offered at the auction and that the works brought would be presented to Istanbulites. He added “We have brought to the city the types of works in the collections of important museums. It means a lot to us that these pieces are now part of the Sufism Museum, restoration of which we are continuing. With this purchase, our collection has been enriched further… For us, they are priceless.”

Priceless Works 

The collection that IMM has purchased from Sotheby's includes:

1200 years old parchment containing part of the Koran, written in Kufic script with gold leaf

1100 years old parchment containing part of the Koran, written in Kufic script

Mamluk Period page from the Koran, on pink paper, written in Muhaqqaq script

Page from the Koran, written in 14th Century Baghdad, attributed to Argun El-Kamilî, one of the most famous calligraphers of the age

Copy of Ebu Muhammed’s “Abdulkayyum ibni Muhammed ibni Keremshah-i Tebrizi”, leaf with two pages containing five surahs

Ibtidah-Namah of Masnavi, by Sultan Bahaaddin Walad, son of Rumi

Illuminated prayer book written in the Safavid Period, in narrow and long page format

300 years old illuminated Safavid Period manuscript written in Iran, containing prayers of Imam Zeynelabidin

Calligraphy in the shape of a lion, dated to the 19th Century, illuminated with colored script on marbled paper

200 years old rare Ladik prayer rug, hand-woven in beige, blue, and claret

Approximately 200 years old Milas carpet, hand-woven mainly in tones of ivory and claret

Video link: https://we.tl/t-tzhu6bKoza

Photo Link: https://we.tl/t-j1ZOKkowWO

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