Ferman – Imperial decree
This 3 metre long scroll, written in Ottoman Turkish, concerns the grant of a palace in Istanbul to the granddaughter of Suleyman the Magnificent (r.1520-1566 AD), one of the greatest Ottoman rulers.
Fermans such as this are written in diwani script, the official Ottoman chancery script. They begin with the tughra, the ruler’s signature. This design comes from the sultan’s hand-sign (thumb and three fingers) but evolved into an elaborate and abstract calligraphic shape, illuminated in gold and blue.