[Istanbul: S.d., but ca 1900 or first years of the 20th century]
The first lithographic press in Istanbul was founded by a Frenchmen Henri Cayol, in 1831, and was in the Islamic Worlds possibly preceded only by the Bulaq and Calcutta presses. The first books printed by Cayol were exclusively of military nature and the later ones, made by his second printing shop, were of more commercial nature.
Religious texts adopted the technique of lithography only slowly and with skepticism, as stone printing was considered cheap and prone to printing errors. One should also not underestimate long Islamic tradition of calligraphy and the pride of scribes, who produced unique manuscript details and illuminations.
We could not find the exact date of the first lithographed religious text in the Ottoman Empire nor in Istanbul, but the first smaller texts, mostly in shape of pocket talismans and calendars started appearing in the early 1840s (for example an Ottoman pocket calendar scroll, printed by Mekteb-i Fünûn-ı Harbiye Matbaası in 1841 and held at the Bavarian state library (A.or. 5789)). Late 1840s and 1850s welcomed the first lithographed pocket books with collections of prayers, most popular probably being Delâil ül-hayrât (Delail-i Hayrat, Dala’il al-Khayrat) by Muhammad al-Jazuli. These booklets were mostly sold to pilgrims as more affordable versions in comparison to expensive manuscripts. Following the tradition, the texts were often decorated with hand-painted floral ornaments and gilt details.
The first Qur’an in the Ottoman Empire was not lithographed until the late 19th century.
Our example of the Qur’an is a handsome, richly decorated example of an Ottoman lithographed Qur’an, combined with traditional illuminator’s art.