The four upper panels of inscription are from the Qur'an VI, Sura al-An'am, v.54.
The lower band reads: amara bi-hadhihi al-sitara al-sharifa hadrat mawlana al-a'zam al-sultan muhammad khan al-khamis nasarahu allah amin (His Majesty our Lord, the Most great Sultan Mehmet Khan the Fifth - may God help him. Amen - ordered the making of this noble cover).
Hulya Tezcan has published an example of a similar sitara designed for the internal tawbah door of the Kaaba (Hulya Tezcan, Al-Astar al-Haramayn, Istanbul, 1996, no. 17, p. 64). Another was sold in theses Rooms, 26 April 2005, lot 48. Both were from the period of Sultan Abdulhamid II, the Ottoman Sultan who preceded Mehmet V. The present example, which is notable for its exceptionally fine calligraphy, is the upper half of one of these panels and is similar in all but colour scheme. Unusually, this piece retains its original hanging loops.