Calligraphy Qalam: An Introduction to Arabic, Persian and Ottoman Calligraphy uses interactive tools to interest new audiences in the traditional art forms of Arabic, Ottoman and Persian calligraphy.

This inkwell is an exceptional specimen of hardstone carving in medieval Islam. On the inkwell is written the Bismillah, as well as a Koranic inscription from surah al-Kahf (the Cave), verse 109:

'Say: 'If the ocean were Ink (wherewith to write out)
The words of my Lord,
Sooner would the ocean be
Exhausted than would the words
Of my Lord, even if we
Added another ocean
Like it, for its aid.'

Iran. 10th century. Kufic script. Courtesy of the Courtesy of the Nasser D Khalili Collection of Islamic Art.

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