The manuscript's added colophon informs us that this gigantic and opulent sixteenth-century Qur'an was given by Sultan Aḥmad III, son of the Sultan Muḥammad Khān, in the year of the Hijra 1132 (1719-20) to the mosque of Jerrāḥ Pasha in Dikili Tash, a district near the obelisk in the Hippodrome of Istanbul. This donation gave the Qurʼan its name.
In two volumes, the book's 276 leaves are written on heavy wove paper inserted into cream margins. The bulk of the book consists of text pages containing framed rectangles of handsome calligraphy set within luxuriously wide margins punctuated by colorful medallions.
Eight specially illuminated pages--four at the front and four at the back--are the visual fireworks of the book. These eight pages form four dazzling openings. Their palette is dominated by blues--a royal hue and a shade of robin's egg--and gold, with visually dramatic accents in pink, terra cotta, yellow, and orange. The arresting coloring is quite unorthodox. The illumination of these four double-openings closely resembles the work of the Ottoman master gilder Muḥammad ibn Tāj al-Dīn Ḥaidar (d. 1588).
Finally, this Qurʼan also has its share of mysteries. For one, we do not know when Morgan bought it. Also, we do not know the circumstances, after his acquisition of the book, under which three leaves were removed and entered into the private collection of Morgan's then librarian, Belle da Costa Greene. It was not uncommon in the Victorian era and into the early twentieth century, for wealthy collectors to occasionally share leaves from codices they owned with enthusiastic admirers. Greene, who was certainly keener on Eastern illumination than Morgan, might have benefitted from an act of generosity on his part. In any case, her three folios have been reinserted into their proper places within the codex.
The manuscript was created in Shiraz in 1580, and given by Sultan Aḥmad III (1673-1736) in 1719-1720 to the mosque of Jerrāḥ Pasha in Dikili Tash, a district (near the obelisk in the Hippodrome) of Istanbul.
Headings are in muḥaqqaq, raiḥān, nastaʻlīq, and naskh.
Fol. 195, 196, and 272 (Pierpont Morgan Library MS M.845), which were removed from the manuscript probably after it was purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan, were restored to the manuscript after 1951.
Decoration: heavy wove paper inserted into cream margins; rulings are blue, light brown, black, pale green, and orange, with wider gold ruling in the center; 4 illuminated pages at the beginning of the manuscript and 4 at the end, all noted for their conservative design and unorthodox coloring.