An impressive voided velvet silk Panel Ottoman Turkey or Italy,  16th Century
Lot 63
An impressive voided velvet Panel Ottoman Turkey or Italy, 16th Century
£8,000 - 12,000
US$ 13,000 - 20,000
Auction Details
Lot Details
An impressive voided velvet Panel
Ottoman Turkey or Italy, 16th Century
rectangular, the crimson silk pile voided with a large scale design of an undulating vine with twisted, foliate central vein, bearing a large ogival medallion hatayi motif, with smaller-scale off-shoot branches bearing further flowers to either side, mounted
128 x 57 cm.


  • This well-preserved voided velvet was produced in the 16th Century at a time of great trade between Ottoman Turkey and Venice. In the 15th and 16th Centuries, the Ottoman city of Bursa was one of the most important producers of velvets in the world; yet only three of the velvet kaftans in collection of Topkapi Saray are of Ottoman manufacture. At the time, Turkey enjoyed a healthy export trade of silk with the Venetians who were producing textiles in the Ottoman taste. From the 15th Century onwards, Bursa velvets became very popular and were distributed widely in Turkey for sale. It is unlikely that the Ottoman Sultan would have favoured garments in a fabric that was readily available, and instead favoured a luxury, imported velvet appropriate to his status.

    A silk velvet ceremonial kaftan of very similar design can be found in the collection of Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul. For an illustration of the garment, and a discussion of Venetian and Ottoman velvet production in the 15th and 16th Centuries, see Stefano Carboni, (Ed.), Venice and the Islamic World 828-1797 Exhibition Catalogue, New York, 2007, pp. 187-89, cat. 80. Another robe from the period of Ahmed I (1603-17) with a similar, but larger scale design also in the Topkapi is published in Patricia Baker, Hulya Tezcan and Jennifer Wearden, Silk for the Sultans, Ottoman Imperial Garments from Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, 1996, pp. 196-199. The catalogue entry for this piece mentions that contemporary accounts record that imported Italian velvets were used for hil'at kaftans that were presented to visiting ambassadors attending Ottoman court receptions.
  1. Oliver White
    Specialist - Islamic and Indian Art
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 7468 8303
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 8283