Auctions | March 5, 2015

Bloomsbury Auctions Offers Middle Eastern Books and Manuscripts

London - An excellent selection of Middle Eastern material from the growing new department at Bloomsbury Auctions is to be offered in the Continental, English & Middle Eastern Manuscripts sale on the Thursday 19th March. The auction will feature over 20 lots of rare Islamic pieces including an exquisite Ottoman Qur'an, a section from an early Mamluk Qur'an, and some early Hanafi school texts from the Middle East.

One of the star lots of this section is an early illuminated Mamluk Qur'an [15th cent], featuring a rare example of a carpet title. Copied in an elegant Muhaqqaq hand with beautiful ornaments and illuminated opening pages, this piece is expected to fetch £12,000-18,000 [Lot 66].

Other Islamic highlights include a fine Ottoman Qur'an dated 1190 AH (1776 AD) [Lot 80], also at £12,000-18,000, and an early Indian Qur'an in the distinctive Bihari script [Lot 75]. This item is dated 1092 AH (1682 AD) and also carries an interesting inscription that places the Qur'an in the valley of Barkilli (present day Pakistan) where it was looted by a Major-General of the British Army during the Bruner Field Expedition of 1898. 

This section is also home to a number of historically significant Hanafi treatise including Al-Halabi's Multaqa' Al-Abhur [c.1077 AH (1666 AD)] [Lot 81]. This is an important Hanafi manual of legal authorities, originally completed in 1517, which became the bedrock of Hanafi thought in the Ottoman Empire, estimated at £750-1,000.

For more information about the collection and the growing Middle Eastern Department at Bloomsbury Auction please contact our specialist Roxana Kashani

The Continental, English and Middle Eastern Books and Manuscripts sale will be held at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ London saleroom in Mayfair on 19th March. The catalogue is available to view and download online at