West African Qur’an and satchel

A finely decorated leather satchel containing a beautiful illuminated hand-written Qur’an with a matching binding. We believe our ‘travelling Qur’an’ was acquired with the archives of colonial governor, Sir Hesketh Bell. During a tour of the Southern Provinces of Northern Nigeria in May 1910 Bell says the Emir of Bida ‘offered him a Nupe sword in a silver scabbard and that nearly all the Chiefs offered presents, including a Qur’an enclosed in a handsome leather case, the book beautifully illuminated by local Malams’. Other gifts included a fine saddle, Hausa robes, ironwork and spears.

The RCS collections also hold a slightly older and smaller ‘travelling Qur’an’, brought home from Bida in Nigeria by Sir George Goldie after the Niger-Sudan Campaign of January 1897.

Extended captions