Medieval Arabic Block Printed Amulets in American and European

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Text of Medieval Arabic Block Printed Amulets in American and European

  • ENIGMATIC CHARMS

  • HANDBOOK OF ORIENTAL STUDIESHANDBUCH DER ORIENTALISTIK

    SECTION ONE

    THE NEAR AND MIDDLE EASTEDITED BY

    H. ALTENMLLER B. HROUDA B.A. LEVINE R.S. OFAHEYK.R. VEENHOF C.H.M. VERSTEEGH

    VOLUME EIGHTY-TWO

    ENIGMATIC CHARMS

  • ENIGMATIC CHARMS

    Medieval Arabic Block Printed Amulets in American and European Libraries and Museums

    BY

    KARL R. SCHAEFER

    LEIDEN BOSTON2006

  • On the cover: 1978.546.37. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, gift of Nelly, Violet and Elie Abemayor,in Memory of Michael Abemayor, 1978 (1978.546.37) 2005 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    This book is printed on acid-free paper.

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    A C.I.P. record for this book is available from the Library of Congress.

    ISSN 0169-9423ISBN-10: 90 04 14789 6ISBN-13: 978 90 04 14789 8

    Copyright 2006 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The NetherlandsKoninklijke Brill NV incorporates the imprints,

    Martinus Nijhoff Publishers and VSP.

    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored ina retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic,mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written

    permission from the publisher.

    Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personaluse is granted by Brill provided that

    the appropriate fees are paid directly to The CopyrightClearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Suite 910

    Danvers MA 01923, USA.Fees are subject to change.

    printed in the netherlands

  • To the memoryof my parents

    Helen Greene Schaefer (19162001)Karl George Schaefer (19122004)

    SCHAEFER_f1_v-xiii.indd v 7/12/2006 4:57:38 PM

  • SCHAEFER_f1_v-xiii.indd vi 7/12/2006 4:57:38 PM

  • CONTENTS

    Preface ............................................................................................................................ ixIntroduction ................................................................................................................... 1The Historico-religious Context of Arabic Block Printing ............................................ 7The (Re)discovery of Arabic Block Printing .................................................................. 21Calligraphy and the Issue of Dating the Arabic Block Prints ........................................ 41

    BLOCK PRINTED AMULETS IN EUROPEAN LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS

    Key to Transcriptions of Arabic Texts ........................................................................... 55gyptologisches Museum und Papyrussammlung Berlin .............................................. 57Cambridge University Library, Michaelides Collection ................................................ 67Cambridge University Library, Taylor-Schechter Geniza Collection ........................... 81Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, Ireland ........................................................................ 97Gutenberg Museum, Mainz, Germany ......................................................................... 103Universittsbibliothek Heidelberg, Institut fr Papyrologie ........................................... 111John Rylands Library, University of Manchester .......................................................... 113sterreichische Nationalbibliothek, Papyrussammlung ................................................ 115Bibliothque Nationale et Universitaire de Strasbourg ................................................. 157Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge .................................................................... 163

    BLOCK PRINTED AMULETS IN AMERICAN LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS

    Columbia University Library, Papyrus Collection ......................................................... 169Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington ............................................................. 177Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Madina Collection of Islamic Art, A Gift of Camilla Chandler Frost .............................................................................. 181Metropolitan Museum of Art, Department of Islamic Art, New York, New York ....... 187Scheide Library, Rare Books and Special Collections, Firestone Library, Princeton University .................................................................................................. 219

    List of Locations and Accession Numbers for Known arshes in Europe and the United States ........................................................................................................ 225

    List of Works Consulted ................................................................................................. 235

    Index to Quranic Chapters (Suras) and Verses (Ayat) Appearing in the Texts of the Amulets ................................................................................................................ 241

    Index .............................................................................................................................. 243

    Plates .............................................................................................................................. 245

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  • PREFACE

    What began as a relatively minor taskone only tangentially related to my primary purpose at the timehas grown into something of some substance, I hope. Much of what I have en-countered in my study of medieval Arabic block prints has been beyond my modest talents to analyze and elucidate. The results of this effort, therefore, while going to press with my name on the title page, owe much to the encouragement, advice and assistance of an entire phalanx of friends, scholars, and librarians. Especially librarians.

    The genesis of this work lies in the suggestion offered to me in 1994 by Patricia H. Marks, then editor of the Princeton University Library Chronicle, that I compose an article on the unique example of Arabic block printing held by the William H. Scheide Library at Princeton. In this regard, I must thank Mr. Scheide, again, for granting me permission to publish his artifact, as well as William Stoneman, former Librarian of the Scheide Library, and Paul Needham, current Scheide Librarian, for making the block print available to me for close study. Dr. Don Skemer, Curator of Manuscripts in Firestone Librarys Department of Rare Books and Spe-cial Collections provided encouragement and, through his own research on European amulets, the outlines of a historical context for the present study.

    The publication of the Scheide block print resulted in a very attering review and enthu-siastic encouragement from Dr. Geoffrey J. Roper, late of the Islamic Bibliography Unit at Cambridge University Library. He urged me to continue my study of Arabic block printing and to that end made slides of Cambridges two collections available to me. Over the inter-vening years, he has not ceased to provide valuable insight, leads on previously unknown or recently discovered examples, bibliographic assistance, hospitality, and friendship. Dr. Stefan C. Reif, Director of the Taylor-Schechter Geniza Research Unit at Cambridge also provided timely help and advice about how to proceed with reproduction rights for images of that part of Cambridges important collection of Arabic block prints. Dr. Reif, Dr. Ben M. Outhwaite, and D.J. Hall, Deputy Librarian at Cambridge University Library, also granted permission to publish the images of the block prints in their collections. Ruth Long and her colleagues in the Photographic Department there carried out the digital photography with consummate professionalism.

    Because the examples of medieval Arabic block printing are so widely scattered, archived as they are in more than a dozen university libraries, museums and private collections, the generous assistance of the librarians and curators I have had the good fortune to meet cannot be overstated. In addition to those people I have already mentioned, I am deeply indebted to the librarians and museum archivists who not only facilitated my study of objects known to reside in their institutions, but allowed me to have virtually unfettered access to their collections of Arabic materials. This generous degree of freedom enabled me to identify two previously unknown examples of the craft and to create a more reliable census of the total number of extant Arabic block prints.

    Several institutions in Great Britain and Ireland are in possession of Arabic block printed amulets and my rst foray into an investigation of a larger grouping of block prints was cen-tered on these places. At Cambridge University Library, in addition to the people mentioned

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  • x PREFACE

    above, I would like to thank Jill Butterworth and G.D. Bye who provided valuable technical assistance and helpful information. For enabling me to examine the block print at the John Rylands Library at the University of Manchester, my gratitude goes to Dr. Peter McNiven, former Head of the John Rylands Research Institute, and his colleagues on the library staff, particularly Ms. Anne Young, Dr. Dorothy Clayton, Ms. Carol Burrows and Ms. Anne M. Clarkson. My August 1999 visit to the Chester Beatty Library in Ballsbridge, Dublin was made most pleasant by its then Director, Dr. Elaine Wright, and her attentive staff. Dr. Wrights pre-decessor, Dr. Anna Contadini, is also due my thanks for her provision of a photograph of the Chester Beatty block print. For permission to publish the Chester Beatty Librar