400 years before Roubo, a folding book stand

 
 400 years earlier than Roubo, a beautiful folding book stand from a single large board

400 years earlier than Roubo, a beautiful folding book stand from a single large board

On a recent trip to New York, I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You could get lost for days in there, and it’s definitely worth doing that once in a while. Wandering around in the relatively new Islamic art wing near the European painting galleries I came across a fantastic, much earlier version of the folding book stand described by Roubo and popularized recently by Roy Underhill. This large stand for a Quran dates from the year 1360, some 400 years before Roubo! It was not a crude version, either; it was beautifully designed and exquisitely crafted, with multiple layers of rich carvings and piercings. The stand was made by Hasan [ibn] Zain ibn Sulaiman al-Isfahani.

Jeff Miller