Ottoman Silk and Metal Thread

Examples of Antique Ottoman Silk and Metal Thread Textiles

Silk and metal thread textiles were made in a great many places including Persia, Samarkand, Mughal India and Ottoman Turkey. The Ottoman used them extensively and there are many extant examples.

Examples:

Ottoman Silk and Metal Thread Multiple Niche Brocade Mihrab Panel
Ottoman Silk and Metal Thread Multiple Niche Brocade Mihrab Panel
With its field divided into three sections by the columns supporting a triple mihrab arch, the lot offered here resembles seventeenth-century Ghiordes prayer rugs. The abundant use of metal thread brocading makes this piece appear particularly lavish and luxurious. The naturalistic depiction of the carnations and other various flowers at the top of the arches, in the primary border and along the lower end of the mat further stress the high-end nature of this lot as similar prayer mats are more often embellished with more stylized design elements, even when using floral motifs. The blossoming tulip bouquets floating between the columns and the three-dimensional treatment of the suspended lamps' round bulbous bodies give an intriguing sense of depth and space to this piece.


A Silk and Metal Thread Ottoman Voided Yastik
A Silk and Metal Thread Ottoman Voided Yastik
A Silk and Metal Thread Ottoman Voided Yastik 2
Anatolia, 17th century. One end border reattached, abrasion to the metallic area. 2 ft. 1 in. by 3 ft. 7in. (063 by 109 cm)


Antique Voided Silk Velvet and Metal Thread Brocade Panel, Turkey, Attributed To Bursa, 16th century probably before 1550
Antique Voided Silk Velvet and Metal Thread Brocade Panel, Turkey, Attributed To Bursa, 16th century probably before 1550

PERSIAN & ISLAMIC ART: THE COLLECTION OF THE BERKELEY TRUST

Mounted, box glazed, approximately 159 by 124cm., 5ft. 3in. by 4ft. 1in.

16th century, probably before 1550

Composed of two conjoined loom widths, woven with a bold ogival leaf and vine trellis, clasped by crowns and enclosing stylised hybrid tulip and carnation spray palmettes with leaves

Pile: silk velvet; crimson

Brocade: metal thread wound on an ivory silk core

CATALOGUE NOTE

The design of this velvet is on a magnificent scale; the bold drawing and the contrast between the gleaming crimson silk and the metal thread is used to splendid and dramatic effect. The ‘Crowns of St. Stephen’ seem barely able to constrain the bold ogival trellis which springs between them; additional dynamism is generated by the spiraling stems with counterposed leaves which support the thistle-like palmettes. The crowns themselves are a motif influenced by European textiles, but the palmettes ingeniously incorporate a more typically Turkish repertoire of stylized tulips issuing carnation blooms in one register and plump pomegranates in the other.


Ottoman voided velvet and metal-thread (çatma) cushion covers (minder) 18th century
Ottoman voided velvet and metal-thread (çatma) cushion covers (minder) 18th century

MEASUREMENTS

First 92cm. by 61cm., 36½in. by 24in.; second 109cm. by 61cm., 43in. by 24in.


Antique Ottoman Metal Thread Brocade Military Banner, 19th century

Antique Ottoman Metal Thread Brocade Military Banner, 19th century

AN OTTOMAN MILITARY BANNER

Approximately 325 by 210cm., 10ft. 8in. by 6ft. 10in.

Circa 1866

CATALOGUE NOTE

The green-gold ground with inscriptions reserved on silver coloured metal thread brocade within roundels, the central panel with the inscription in supplementary wefted pale rose pink silk on metal thread brocade, the borders and cross-panel with a crimson ground.

The inscriptions in the borders are a repetition of:

Qur’an, surat al-ikhlas ‘Purity’ (CXII)

The two columns of three roundels are variously inscribed:

“God. May His sublimity be exalted”

“Muhammad, the Prophet, Peace be upon him”

“Abu Bakr. May God be pleased with him”

“ ‘Umar. May God be pleased with him”

“ ‘Uthman. May God be pleased with him”

“ ‘Ali. May God be pleased with him”

In the two larger roundels above and below the central rectangular panel:

1) “May blessing of the exalted God be upon them all”

2) Qur’an, al-saff (LXI), parts of 13, as well as:

‘The Preserver is God. The Helper is God”

In the central panel:

“Contentment is a treasure that does not perish. Sevki wrote it.”

The reknowned Ottoman calligrapher Mehmed Sevki (1829-1887) was born in Kastamonu in north-western Anatolia, but brought up in Istanbul, from the age of three. Whilst at school he took lessons in calligraphy from his uncle Mehmed Hulusi Efendi (d.1874) and by the age of twelve, he had obtained his ijazah. Sevki was also a noted bookbinder and illustrator.

A Mufradat album by Sevki, see Safwat, Nabil F., The Art of the Pen, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, Noor Foundation, 1996, Cat.No.12, pp.28-30, on the basis of a colophon at the bottom of folio 11a, where he refers to himself as halife (junior clerk) in the office of a maktubi (the chief secretary of an Ottoman Government Department), is dated to 1866, when Sevki was working for the Ministry of War.

It seems reasonable to suppose that the calligraphy for this banner was also amongst the commissions Sevki executed for the Ministry, dating it too, to circa 1866 (the first year of the Crete Uprising of 1866-68). Other related banners which are dated are also mostly 19th century, for example the banner in Kraków, Poland at the Panstwowe Zbiory Sztuki na Wawelu (Inv.no.514,17682), dated 1225 (1810-11); see also Rogers, J.M., Empire of the Sultans, Ottoman Art from the collection of Nasser D. Khalili, Musée Rath, Geneva 7th July-24th September 1995, cat.no.76, for a banner dated 1235 (1819-20). The design of these banners is however, stylistically very 17th century in character, see for example the rendition of the Iznik style tulips to the corners of the cross-band in the present lot. It has been suggested that the 19th century examples were woven as facsimiles of 17th century examples which had worn out or been captured and that they continued to serve their traditional purpose for use in military campaigns, see Rogers, op.cit., cat.no.77. They may also have been intended to be deliberately reminiscent of the heyday of the Ottoman Empire as inspiration for the 19th century Ottoman army.


Antique Ottoman metal and silk embroidery velvet pouch (kese)
Antique Ottoman metal and silk embroidery velvet pouch (kese)

An Ottoman metal and silk embroidered velvet pouch (kese)

Turkey, Smyrna, dated 1686 A.D.

The crimson velvet decorated with a symmetrical design of stylized floral motifs and split-palmettes, embroidered with the name of the owner below the flap, the reverse embroidered with place of manufacture and date, leather edging and leather inside compartment

11 by 18.5 cm.

Inscriptions

The name 'Elizabeth Wall'' and on the reverse 'Smyrna Anno Domini 1686'

This pouch is a fine example of its type that appears to have been signed by the artist in two places, once below the name of the owner, a second time below the place of manufacture and date. A related leather embroidered example is in the Atilla Eksinozlugil Collection, Turkey (Istanbul 1991, p.40, no.29). Like the present one, it is embroidered with the name of the European traveler for whom it was made.


Antique Ottoman Voided Silk Velvet and Metal thread Çatma Bursa 1st half 17th century
Antique Ottoman Voided Silk Velvet and Metal thread Çatma Bursa 1st half 17th century
Antique Ottoman Voided Silk Velvet and Metal thread Çatma Bursa 1st half 17th century 2

General Classification: Ottoman Textiles

AN OTTOMAN VOIDED SILK VELVET AND METAL THREAD (ÇATMA) PANEL, BURSA, WEST ANATOLIA, FIRST HALF 17TH CENTURY

MEASUREMENTS

94 by 61cm.

DESCRIPTION

First half 17th century

The crimson silk velvet ground with offset rows of carnation fan palmettes

CATALOGUE NOTE

The design of rows of carnation palmettes was popular in late 16th century and 17th century Ottoman textiles and is found in large panels probably intended as hangings, cushion covers and loom widths, such as the present example, which may have been intended for upholstery. For a çatma panel or hanging with an earlier, more elaborate version of this pattern, please see Spink and So. Ltd., Textiles from the Sangiorgi Collection, cat. no.17; for panels with a very similar design, including the supplementary hyacinth spray motifs within and between the carnations, please see Grünberg, E. & Torn, E.M., Four Centuries of Ottoman Taste, London, 1988, cat.no.7 and Erber, C., A Wealth of Silk and Velvet, Bremen, 1993, G10/2, pp.180-181, a fragment in the Deutsches Textilmuseum, Krefeld, 00200.


Antique Ottoman Voided Silk Velvet and Metal thread Çatma Bursa Late 16th Early 17th century
Antique Ottoman Voided Silk Velvet and Metal thread Çatma Bursa Late 16th Early 17th century

General Classification: Ottoman Textiles

MEASUREMENTS

Approximately 152 by 49cm.

DESCRIPTION

Second half 16th century

Condition Note: mounted and framed

CATALOGUE NOTE

This çatma with an ogival lattice linked by so-called ‘St. Stephen’ crowns alternating with large flattened flower heads perfectly exemplifies the exchange of ideas and decorative motifs between East and West and the resulting creation of fabrics by Ottoman weavers for export, designed to appeal to the fashionable cognoscenti of Europe. Here, we see an amalgam of Italianate motifs such as the crown and elaborate palmette with very typical Turkish motifs such as the small stencil-like tulips beneath the large palmettes and the curled saz leaves enclosing flowers (a decorative motif often seen in other branches of the Ottoman decorative arts, such as Iznik ceramics of the period) successfully synthesized to create a bold and dramatic design which continues to appeal today.