The inscription on this panel is a Prophetic hadith, ra's al-hikma makhafat allah, 'Fear of God is the fount of wisdom'.
The calligraphy of Mehmed Sefik Bey (ca.1235/1820-1297/1880) survives in numerous incarnations to this day, including his best known work, a series of inscriptions on the gate of what is now the University of Istanbul. Other notable examples include a band of Qur'anic verses for the Mausoleum of Sultan Abdulmecid and a band of faience added to the Dome of the Rock during its restoration in 1875, recognised as the longest uninterrupted inscription in the world. For thirty-four years he was a teacher of calligraphy, his students including the First Regiment of the Palace Cavalry and the officials of the Sultan's palace, as well as two distinguished calligraphers, Hasan Riza Efendi and Haydarh Ali Efendi. His work is published in M. Ugur Derman, Letters in Gold, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1998, no.39, p.122-3, and M. Ugur Durman, Eternal Letters: From the Abdul Rahman Al Owais Collection of Islamic Calligraphy, Sharjah, exhibition catalogue, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, 2009, nos. 43a-d, pp.184-191.