Lot 165. An Ottoman voided silk velvet metal-thread (catma) panel with stylised peacock feathers, carnations and rosettes, Turkey, Bursa or Istanbul, early 17th century; 161 by 59cm. Estimate: 12,000 - 15,000 GBP. Courtesy Sotheby's.
metal threads on a silk cream ground, with red voided velvet outlines and background, with large rosettes emanating peacock feathers surrounded by floral and carnation vines, mounted.
Note: "According to Islamic legend the peacock had been a denizen of paradise but was expelled along with Adam and Eve for failing to follow God's commandments" (Atasoy 2001, p.262).
Along with the 'quatre-fleurs style' named for the four most commonly used flowers: the tulip, hyacinth, rose and the carnation, all closely associated with the Ottoman Court, the peacock feather was integrated in a number of creative ways on Ottoman velvets, the present lot and lot 167 being good examples. Contemporaneous records show that the silk weaving ateliers of Bursa and Istanbul were carefully monitored by the Ottoman Court, indeed the number of looms and the usage of precious metals was strictly controlled and workshops producing anything but the highest quality of textiles were forcibly closed down. It followed that the designs were also closely monitored and that weavers and designers were forced to follow strict guidelines as to form and content and could, therefore, only show their creativity and inventiveness within a relatively narrow remit.
Sotheby's. ARTS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD AND INDIA INCLUDING FINE RUGS AND CARPETS, 01 Apr 2020