Fragment of Sixteenth Century Ottoman Embroidery

Fragment of embroidered silk, c. 1500, probably from Ottoman empire. Fragment of embroidered silk, c. 1500, probably from Ottoman empire. Courtesy Rijksmuseum Amsterdam acc. no. BK-NM-3677.

The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, houses a fragment of multi-coloured, embroidered yellow silk that dates to c. 1500 and probably derives from the Ottoman empire (and not from Iran, as suggested in the Rijksmuseum catalogue). The fragment measures 34 x 33 cm.

The fragment consists of four smaller fragments sewn together. The floral motifs include blue and red flowers and flower buds in green, pink, orange and silver. The flowers are worked in darning stitch in diagonal lines giving a characteristic 'twill' line appearance, while the stems are in chain stitch. The final effect is regarded as a typical Ottoman period embroidery form, called hesap isi, which is the Turkish term for counted thread work. This type of embroidery is often used for a woman's sash or for a head scarf. It used to to worked in two forms, a single-sided and a double sided form. This piece is an example of a single sided form.

Source: VOGELSANG-EASTWOOD, Gillian (2016). 'Ottoman Turkish embroidery,' in: Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood (ed.), Encyclopedia of Embroidery from the Arab World, London: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 168-181, esp. p. 174.

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam online catalogue (retrieved 15 October 2016).


Last modified on Sunday, 16 October 2016 10:30