Kaftan

ca. 1590 (made)
Kaftan thumbnail 1
Kaftan thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
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
Brief Description
Child's silk kaftan with tiger stripes, Turkey (probably Bursa), ca. 1590.
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.
Dimensions
  • Length: 71cm
  • Width: 78.5cm
  • Incl. backboard length: 84cm
  • Incl. backboard width: 83cm
Style
Gallery Label
Jameel Gallery Child's Kaftan Turkey, probably Bursa About 1590 Silk and metal-wrapped thread in lampas weave Museum no. 753-1884(2006-2012)
Object history
Said to have been removed from a royal tomb in Istanbul or Bursa.
Subject depicted
Summary
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.
Bibliographic References
  • 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
  • Tim Stanley (ed.), with Mariam Rosser-Owen and Stephen Vernoit, Palace and Mosque: Islamic Art from the Middle East, London, V&A Publications, 2004p.32
Collection
Accession Number
753-1884

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record createdNovember 4, 2003
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