The main inscription on the body reads: al-baraka li-sahibihi wa (blessing to the owner and).
The engraved signature reads: 'amal-e 'Ali ibn Abi Hafs (the work of 'Ali son of Abi Hafs)
This remarkable object, of considerable size and thought of sufficient importance by its maker to sign it, has no immediate parallel in the published literature. It has been suggested that it was made as a document case. There is certainly a type of tubular container which is thought to have been so used in the mediaeval period, but it tends to be smaller, certainly thinner, and without the piercing. The benedictory inscriptions preclude a religious use, which would otherwise explain the piercing in the same way that the back of later bazuband qur'an holders are pierced. Until however some better sugestion is made, this must remain the most probable option.
The decoration is unusually simple in from. The plain bands of copper inlay flanking the bands of leafy designs are unusually wide, becoming a decorative feature in their own right rather than just coloured outlines.