This folding stand carved from a single piece of wood has two distinct areas of ornament on each side, the lower of which – entirely vegetal in inspiration – supports the upper on spring-like scrolling tendrils with bifurcated and lanceolate leaves. In the middle a niche of irregular form has another scrolling tendril pattern in openwork, with a fleshy three-leaved motif, which has broken away in parts. The tendrils intersect in two places to marked spatial effect. On the upper panel, carved in the same way, the upper surface of the linear elements being again rounded, is an Arabic inscription: 'Kingship / belongs to God' in monumental Kufic script against a ground of finely carved scrolling tendrils. The calligraphic design is so distinguished and inventive that this piece stands out among only three other comparable exam¬ples (in Istanbul and Konya); it must surely have been a gift of one of the Rum Seljuk sultans. Equally impressive is the Thuluth script of the 'throne verse' (Sura 2:255 of the Koran) on the other side, following on from the large inscription. There too, confidently inscribed on the 'teeth' of the hinge is the signature: 'The work of Abdalwahid bin Sulaiman the woodcarver'. This could be the same person as the 'Abdalwahid bin Salim' responsible for the wooden cenotaph of the great Sufi poet Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi (d. 1273) at the Mevlana monastery in Konya.


  • Title: Koran Stand
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: Early to mid-13nd century
  • Location: Konya, Turkey
  • Physical Dimensions: w50 x h107 cm
  • Type: Furniture
  • Medium: Walnut
  • Inv. no.: I. 584
  • ISIL no.: DE-MUS-814517
  • External link: Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Copyrights: Foto © bpk - Foto Agency / Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Georg Niedermeiser || Text © Scala Publishers / Museum für Islamische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Claus-Peter Haase
  • Collection: Museum für Islamische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

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