Art/ Collection/ Art Object


mid-16th century
Made in Turkey, probably Istanbul
Silk, metal wrapped thread; lampas (kemha)
Textile: H. 24 in (61 cm) W. 26 1/2 in (67.3 cm) Mount: H. 28 5/8 in (72.7 cm) W. 31 6/8 in (80.6 cm) D. 7/8 in (2.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1952
Accession Number:
Not on view
Woven silk was an integral part of the Ottoman economy and an important trade item that yielded substantial revenue to the Ottoman treasury. It was also a sign of accumulated individual wealth and ranked alongside precious gems and metals as an indication of affluence. The choice of colors in this fragment is restricted to a blue ground with the pattern picked out in white, salmon pink, gold, and silver. The bold and forceful design of palmettes is softened by the graceful overlapping stem systems in the interstices. The palmettes, which form the heart of the ogival framework, are composed of three medallions: the innermost has a spiky outline with a tulip tree placed on a dotted ground, the middle one has a serrated edge anchoring an acanthus-type leaf facing the center, and the largest is decorated with palmette trees and a scalloped edge made of leaves.
Dikran G. Kelekian, New York (by 1908–d. 1951; his estate, New York, 1951–52;sold to MMA)
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. "Special Persian Exhibition," 1926, no. 734.

Museum für Islamische Kunst, Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. "The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the M.M.A.," June 15, 1981–August 8, 1981, no. 111.

Washington. National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "The Age of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent," January 25, 1987–May 17, 1987, no. 145.

Chicago. Art Institute of Chicago. "The Age of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent," June 14, 1987–September 7, 1987, no. 145.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Age of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent," October 4, 1987–January 17, 1988, no. 145.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Islamic Textiles: A Sampler from Muslim Lands," January 31, 1990–April 20, 1990, no catalogue.

Boston. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Silks for the Sultans: Ottoman textiles and their legacy," April 22, 1994–September 4, 1994.

Pope, Arthur Upham. "Special Persian Exhibition." Bulletin of the Pennsylvania Museum Vol. XXII, no. 107 (November 1926). pp. 245-251.

"Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York." In The Arts of Islam. Berlin, 1981. no. 111, pp. 262-263, ill. p. 263 (b/w).

Atil, Esin. The Age of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. Washington, DC: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1987. no. 145, pp. 210-211, ill. pl. 145 (color).

Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 229A, pp. 322-323, ill. p. 323 (color).

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