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Lot 400Tuesday 07 Jun, 2016 - 10.00am
A 19th Century manuscript copy of the Koran in West African Arabic script (probably Nigerian), the 9ins x 6.75ins pages enhanced in red and applied with amber gum highlights, some pages with decorative additional design in the "African" manner, all contained in embossed leather wrap-around binding, and contained in conforming leather satchel (some pages still stuck together, worn and rubbed around edges)
Provenance : Purchased by Thomas Charlton (1887-1950) whilst working in Africa. By profession he became a Mining Engineer spending much of his time working abroad. He was commissioned into the Royal Engineers during First World War serving as a Tunneller under enemy lines. During his time in France he was wounded twice between 1916 and 1917 and also severely gassed in May 1918, resulting in him being sent home. Latterly he worked in South America where he lost his wife to Yellow Fever but prior to that he travelled in Africa and the Koran was amongst the few precious items that came home with him. He died on 20th December 1950, having never fully recovered from his experiences in the First World War. The Koran has passed by family descent to the Great Nephew of Thomas Charlton and has never been on the market before.
Note : This comes with a letter from the British Museum dated 27th September 1961 regarding the copy of the Koran, who also identified the watermark on the paper as having been made by Andrea Galvani.