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Kaftan

Kaftan

  • Place of origin:

    Bursa (city) (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1590 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Woven silk; weft made by silk and gilt metal thread, silk warp; lampas weave with satin ground and weft-faced twill pattern

  • Museum number:

    753-1884

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Kaftans like this one were worn by Ottoman princes who died when they were children. They were preserved in imperial tombs where, in accordance with Ottoman custom, they were placed over the graves of the deceased.

This kaftan may have come from one of the graves of the 19 younger sons of Sultan Murat III. They were executed at the succession of their half-brother, Mehmet III, in 1595. This gory practice, designed to avoid a struggle for the succession, was never repeated.

The pairs of wavy lines represent the pelts of the striped tiger. In the Islamic world, this design acquired powerful associations. The Iranian hero Rustam, for example, is usually depicted wearing a tiger-skin coat. By 1500 the motif was popular on Ottoman Turkish textiles.

Physical description

Kaftan, silk tissue in white, blue and gold woven with a twill tie on a red satin ground. It is trimmed with red and white silk, and gold thread.

Place of Origin

Bursa (city) (probably, made)

Date

ca. 1590 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Woven silk; weft made by silk and gilt metal thread, silk warp; lampas weave with satin ground and weft-faced twill pattern

Dimensions

Length: 71 cm, Width: 78.5 cm, Length: 84 cm incl. backboard, Width: 83 cm incl. backboard

Object history note

Said to have been removed from a royal tomb in Istanbul or Bursa.

Descriptive line

Child's silk kaftan with tiger stripes, Turkey (probably Bursa), ca. 1590.

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

The Arts of Islam, Catalogue of the exhibition held at Hayward Gallery, 8 April - 4 July, 1976, The Arts Council of Great Britain, 1976. 396p., ill. ISBN 0 7287 0081 6 paper bound, 07287 0080 8 cloth bound. Catalogue entry 22, p82
Victoria and Albert Museum, Brief Guide to Turkish Woven Fabrics. London: 1950. 23pp, ill. p. 10, pl. 12
p.32
Tim Stanley (ed.), with Mariam Rosser-Owen and Stephen Vernoit, Palace and Mosque: Islamic Art from the Middle East, London, V&A Publications, 2004

Labels and date

Jameel Gallery

Child's Kaftan
Turkey, probably Bursa
About 1590
Silk and metal-wrapped thread in lampas weave
Museum no. 753-1884 [2006-2012]

Materials

Silk; Satin; Thread

Techniques

Weaving

Subjects depicted

Tiger stripes

Categories

Islam; Textiles

Collection

Middle East Section

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