Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Cover

  • Place of origin:

    Turkey (made)

  • Date:

    1600-1700 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk, embroidered with silk in atma stitch with couched single threads; made from widths joined before being embroidered. Single-sided embroidery.

  • Museum number:

    830-1902

  • Gallery location:

    Islamic Middle East, Room 42, The Jameel Gallery, case WE12

The oldest Ottoman embroideries in the V&A date from the 16th and 17th centuries. They are either whole covers and wall hangings or fragments of them. They are decorated with large-scale, bold designs in red, blue, green and yellow, with some white and black. In the 17th century the main designs were based on wavy parallel stems which run along the length of the fabric. In this example, the lattice has been overwhelmed by the sheer abundance of flowers.

Physical description

Cover of silk satin embroidered with silk in atma with couched single threads (outlines).
As the ground fabric is very worn it is not possible to determine the number of widths but they were joined together before being embroidered.
The deep border has a blue ground and is decorated with a series of inward-facing crescents each enclosing a composite blossom with a central cloud band. Banded tulips on stems curl around the crescents.
The blue field is covered with fine, undulating parallel stems which run through banded tulips and carnations. the stems are coloured in sections: thin red and then thicker green. There is a secondary system of stem underlying the parallel ones: this also changes colour in sections and is red, black, green and white. It moves horizontally and forms circles around the large carnations and tulips.

Place of Origin

Turkey (made)

Date

1600-1700 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Silk, embroidered with silk in atma stitch with couched single threads; made from widths joined before being embroidered. Single-sided embroidery.

Dimensions

Length: 181 cm, Width: 149 cm

Object history note

Purchased. Registered File number 21207/1902, 89497/1902 and 89301/1902.

Historical context note

A similar cover is in the Textile Museum, Washington DC (Inv. No 1.22) but is worked in double running stitch. The design was drawn in ink on to the back of the fabric.

Descriptive line

Cover, pale blue silk satin with dense silk-embroidered design of s-shaped flower stems running parallel, Ottoman Turkey, 1600-1700

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Ellis, Marianne and Jennifer Wearden. Ottoman Embroidery. London: V&A Publications, 2001, Plates 20 and 21.
Johnstone, P. Turkish embroidery. London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 1985, Pl. 19.

Labels and date

Jameel Gallery

Hanging or Quilt-cover
Turkey
1600–1700

The design of this large textile is organised in a similar way to the one above, with a vertical series of parallel wavy plant stems. However the abundant silk embroidered flowers are altogether larger and more densely packed. They include fantastic versions of familiar garden species such as carnations, tulips, roses, peonies and prunus, rendered in eleven different colours.

Silk satin embroidered with silk in atma stitch
Museum no. 830-1902 [2012]

Production Note

Attribution note: As the ground fabric is very worn it is not possible to determine the number of widths but they were joined together before being embroidered; this implies a professional workshop with large embroidery frames.

Materials

Silk thread; Silk (textile)

Techniques

Satin weave; Embroidering; Sewing

Subjects depicted

Stylized flowers; Tulips; Carnations

Categories

Textiles; Embroideries

Collection

Middle East Section

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.