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200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Decorated pages intended for a Koran, approx. 1500

The luxurious gold and blue pigments and fine scroll ornamentation seen on these pages are typical of the opening pages of Korans produced in Turkey during the 1500s. The high quality of materials and artistic skills brought to bear throughout the Muslim world in various productions of the Koran reflect the sanctity of this holy book, which is considered to contain the word of Allah received as revelations by the prophet Muhammad.

Whether these two pages were ever bound into a complete Koran is unclear. The grid decoration in the central portion of each page appears to be painted over calligraphic text. Perhaps the pages were intended for a Koran but were refurbished for insertion in another decorated manuscript.