Forbidden to portray living beings by religion (although this was not always strictly adhered to), Islamic artists developed alternative forms of virtuosity. Calligraphy was regarded as a particularly noble art because it was a way of beautifying the text of the Quran. But the sanctity of the text placed restrictions on the flourishes that could be added.
Not so with the sultan's tuĸra, or monogram, which incorporated his name, titles and patronymics into one highly stylised motif - the precursor of the modern logo. The tile art here is excellent and there are a number of brilliantly illuminated Qurans dating from the 13th to 16th centuries.
The museum also has a pleasant courtyard that features stone-carved calligraphy. The Dar'ül-Kurra in the courtyard is accessible to visitors during museum opening hours in Ramadan; it contains some holy relics of the Prophet Muhammed.
At the time of going to press this museum was closed for much needed restoration and it's unclear when it will open again.