© The Metropolitan Museum of Art © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Name of Object:

Folio from the 'Blue Qur'an'


New York, United States of America

Holding Museum:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Hegira 3rd–4th century / AD second half 9th–mid-10th century

Type of object:


Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Gold and silver on indigo-dyed parchment

Period / Dynasty:



Probably Qayrawan, Tunisia


This folio comes from the Blue Qur'an, so named for the rich hue of its indigo-dyed surface. The dyeing of parchment for use in luxurious manuscripts originated in Byzantine tradition and continued into the early Islamic period. The gold and silver ink of the kufic text and circular verse markers add to the opulence of this folio. While many scholars believe this Qur’an to have originated in Qayrawan, Tunisia, details in its verse markers have led others to argue that it may have actually been produced in Umayyad Córdoba. Nevertheless, a description of a manuscript with the same specifications as this one appeared in an inventory of the Mosque of Qayrawan in AH 693 / AD 1293, indicating that it was part of the mosque’s endowment by this time.

Additional Copyright Information:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 2004

Citation of this web page:

 "Folio from the 'Blue Qur'an'" in Explore Islamic Art Collections , Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. http://www.museumwnf.org/thematicgallery/thg_galleries/database_item.php?itemId=objects;EPM;us;Mus23;48;en&id=manuscripts

MWNF Working Number: US3 48

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