A Guide to the Arab Museum at Khan Marjan in Baghdad.
DIRECTORATE-GENERAL OF ANTIQUITIES (1957.)
Available to view at our Curzon Street shop.
Second edition. Arabic text. With 28 half-tone black and white plates. 8vo. Original light blue printed wrappers (front wrapper in Arabic, back wrapper in English), stapled; some loss to spine and corners of back wrapper, extremities sunned, interior clean and bright. A good copy of an innately fragile publication. [iv], 1-14, , 15-29, blank, 30-31, English title-page pp. Baghdad, printed at the Government Press,
A beautifully illustrated history and guide to the Arab Museum based in the Khan Murjan of Baghdad. The first edition was published in 1938.
The Khan Murjan was built in the fourteenth century by Aminuddin Murjan (d.774AH/1372AD), who also funded the Murjan Mosque - one of the oldest mosques in Baghdad. The building was designed as a caravanserai and, for centuries, housed merchants, scholars and travellers passing through the city. With two stories of rooms, a high-ceilinged central hall and beautifully ornamented windows and arches, it was (and continues to be) an important and handsome example of Islamic architecture.
Due to later periods of neglect and flood-damage, the building languished in semi-ruin for close to two hundred years. Then, in the early 1930s, Sati' al-Husri (1880-1968), recently appointed as Director of Antiquities, ordered renovations and repairs so that it could be re-born as a museum dedicated to Islamic artefacts. Previous directors, all of whom were European, had primarily focused on pre-Islamic antiquities, so his decision - informed by his commitment to Arab nationalism - marked a significant change of perspective.
As the museum was fairly short-lived, the present guide gives a rare insight into its time at Khan Murjan.
Scarce. No copies in Copac/Jisc. OCLC locates ten holdings: five in Europe, four in North America and one at the Bibliothèque Al Saoud in Morocco.
Stock Code: 241084