Asemic, calligraphy


I bought a couple of Islamic manuscripts recently. I guess I wanted to see (ok – own) some original examples and take time to really study the structures, penmanship and linework.

I don’t have much information except for the brief notes supplied by the Lebanese seller, but I’m still hunting around for other bits of relevance on the web.  The first example is labelled as ‘Islamic Manuscript Alkasida Alsaniah 1125 AH’  
This very beautiful Islamic manuscript represents a piece of the art of Arabic Calligraphy of North African style. It is a part of a larger book titled “Alkasida Alsaniah Fi Ahlo Almakamat Alsaniah.” The author is a narrator who documents the works of most famous Sufi Islamic Jurisprudences (Fiqh) in North Africa. Unfortunately, there is no identification of who this was, but it is dated 1125 AH (1713 AD) .

I love that every stroke can be traced in the ink, but disappointed with gold application…

This style of arabic is called Maghrebi and originated in the northwest region of Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya,  Mauritania, Western Sahara) and later in southern Spain.

This is a single leaf with each side written in black and red with blue and gold details. The text is framed inside a double lined red frame. As expected of paper of this age, there is some foxing around the edges and a couple of worm holes, but these do not detract from its overall appearance.

The second page attracted me for quite different reasons.


This leaf is part of a very old Islamic manuscript about Fiqh (Islamic Law). This manuscript is titled “Fath Al-Wahab Bi-Sharh Manhaj Al-Tollab” and dated 1024 AH (1615 AD). It represents Sharia and Islamic law explanation according to Imam Muhammad Bin Idriss Al-Shafeii.

 This is a single leaf with each side written in black and red. It is in similar condition as the previous leaf  although the corners are considerably more worn. It measures 297 x 185mm.


One thought on “Manuscript

  1. I wonder if my client would let me set type on all different angles like in the 4th and 5th images from the bottom? They already said “no” to running the photo upside down on a book cover mock-up I recently presented to them. Lovely to see this, thanks for posting.

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