Of truly monumental dimensions (45 by 33cm), this impressive, complete manuscript of the Qur'an is a great rarity, whose patron must have been of considerable status and wealth. The production of very large Qur'an manuscripts was popular among successive Mamluk Sultans and viziers in the fourteenth and early fifteenth century (see James 1988, nos.24,28,29,30,31,32,33, 34).
Two notable features are the intricately designed single-page frontispiece and the original stamped and tooled leather binding. The frontispiece, designed in gold and blue with palmettes enclosed in a stellar design composed of polygons is comparable in style to a single-page frontispiece from a Qur'an probably commissioned for the Mosque of Sultan Hasan (begun in 1356) and later bequethed by Sultan Sha'ban to his mother's madrasa in 1368 (see James 1998, pp.188-9, fig.131 (Cat.24)). The illuminator of this Qur'an is unknown, but is described by David James as belonging to the 'Star Polygon Group', referring to the style of illumination that succeeded the work of the master illuminators Sandal, Aydghdi and Ahmad al-Mutatabbib in the first half of the fourteenth century. Though slightly less elaborate, the present Qur'an also echoes the illumination of this group, and its frontispiece recalls the illumination of another Qur'an in the National Library, Cairo, produced for the Mamluk Emir Arghun Shah al-Ashrafi (James, op.cit., p.192-3, fig.136 (Cat.30).