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Koran or Qu'ran. David Bryce & Son. Glasgow. 1896.
Koran or Qu'ran. David Bryce & Son. Glasgow. 1896.
Koran or Qu'ran. David Bryce & Son. Glasgow. 1896.
Koran or Qu'ran. David Bryce & Son. Glasgow. 1896.
Koran or Qu'ran. David Bryce & Son. Glasgow. 1896.
Koran or Qu'ran. David Bryce & Son. Glasgow. 1896.
Koran or Qu'ran. David Bryce & Son. Glasgow. 1896.
Koran or Qu'ran. David Bryce & Son. Glasgow. 1896.
Koran or Qu'ran. David Bryce & Son. Glasgow. 1896.
Koran or Qu'ran. David Bryce & Son. Glasgow. 1896.
Koran or Qu'ran. David Bryce & Son. Glasgow. 1896.
Koran or Qu'ran. David Bryce & Son. Glasgow. 1896.
Koran or Qu'ran. David Bryce & Son. Glasgow. 1896.
Koran or Qu'ran. David Bryce & Son. Glasgow. 1896.
Koran or Qu'ran. David Bryce & Son. Glasgow. 1896.
Koran or Qu'ran. David Bryce & Son. Glasgow. 1896.
Koran or Qu'ran. David Bryce & Son. Glasgow. 1896.
Koran or Qu'ran. David Bryce & Son. Glasgow. 1896.
Koran or Qu'ran. David Bryce & Son. Glasgow. 1896.
Koran or Qu'ran. David Bryce & Son. Glasgow. 1896.
Koran or Qu'ran. David Bryce & Son. Glasgow. 1896.
Koran or Qu'ran. David Bryce & Son. Glasgow. 1896.
Koran or Qu'ran. David Bryce & Son. Glasgow. 1896.
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Koran or Qu'ran. David Bryce & Son. Glasgow. 1896.

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Koran or Qu'ran. David Bryce & Son. Glasgow. 1896. Circa 800 printed pages. Fine India paper, supplied by Henry Frowde. Lithographed text and marginal decoration, printed in Arabic within ruled borders (minuscule marginal tear in gutter of title page) . Original marbled endpapers. 1906 date suggested by D.V. Welsh. But Myrvold and Parmenter state that the Korans were first published in 1896, with reprints in 1899 and 1907. 19 x 26 mm.  Original red and elaborately stamped gilt morocco, with lotus motifs and scrolling curlicue decoration. Original pressed brass locket shaped and embossed to resemble a miniature book (straight-grained with ruled corner-pieces and a spine with raised bands and star motif decorations) with a loop at the top, magnifier on the front and Registration number at the bottom (528948). Bryce's miniature Qu'rans are photolithographic reductions of 19th-century Ottoman editions of famous calligrapher Hafiz Osman's Qur'ans: they were based on the 1871 edition, complete with the signatures and seal impressions of the ten Islamic scholars at back and an 1884 edition from Istanbul that provided the Imperial press colophon reproduced here in full. The Sultan and scholar-backed certificate was a legal assertion of the accuracy of the text. Usually offered by the publisher in oblong tin, brass or silver lockets with hinged door and inset magnifier. Occasionally issued as one of a twelve-volume set in a metal shelved glass case with the heading "Midget Library," accompanied by separate miniature magnifying glass; case then fits into an angled wooden stand. Many copies with lockets were supplied to Indian and other Muslim soldiers fighting for the British in the Second Boer War and later World War I, where they were worn as pendants and objects of fascination that carried talismanic properties, as well as serving as functional Qur'ans for reading with the help of the magnifying glass . The Indian Soldiers' Fund (in 1914, the British Indian Army was as much as one third of the entire British fighting force, and over half  - more than 150,000 - were Muslims) were instrumental in obtaining and distributing miniature Qu'rans at hospitals (but not packed in boxes with signs for the Red Cross) and the front lines. At least 3,000 copies of this Koran were also bought and distributed by Jewish benefactor, Alfred Ezra, who wrote to Bryce "On receiving one. the man will stand up, put the book over his head and touch each eye with it, and then kiss the book with reverence. They nearly all wear them round their necks, and say that this protects them from all harm". This book shaped brass container is highly unusual and very scarce. An "almost legendary title published by Bryce … The bindings vary from richly gilt-stamped red or black morocco with gilt edges to plain stiff wrappers and yellow edges . . .[and] increasingly difficult to find copies" (Bondy, Miniature Books [1981] 111–2). In The Seven Pillars of Wisdom (Book 4, Chapter 53) T. E. Lawrence wrote: "[Auda] told me later, in strict confidence, that thirteen years before he had bought an amulet Koran for one hundred and twenty pounds and had not since been wounded. . . . The book was a Glasgow reproduction, costing eighteen pence; but Auda’s deadliness did not let people laugh at his superstition." A similar edition is in the Queen Mary's Dolls' House in Windsor Castle. Bondy, 111-2. Garbett, 29. Pistner, B233:6. Spielmann, 28. Welsh, 4174. OCLC,  1053056481. WorldCat locates 2 copies worldwide (Washington and North Texas University Libraries). 7 firsts2024