Plain weave: linen; embroidery, double-running stitch: silk, gilt-metal strips and thread
Average: 129.5 x 55.9 cm (51 x 22 in.)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Wade 1916.1251
Fine Turkish towels with beautiful floral decoration embroidered across each end are often reversible, and their quality revealed the owner’s wealth and status. A lady was required by Turkish etiquette to use a napkin “daintily over the tips of her fingers,” lest she lose her social standing. Towels were not only essential components of everyday life but also gifts, prizes, and decorations. Embroideries could also depict images of daily life. Colorful tents and buildings in floral landscapes, here enriched with shiny gilt-metal strips, adorn the four sides of a head scarf that was worn either folded or unfolded and fastened beneath the chin. Square embroideries also served to wrap gifts, letters, and objects; the 19th-century English traveler Charles White commented that “no present is made . . . unless folded in a handkerchief, embroidered cloth, or piece of gauze. The more rich the envelope, the higher the compliment to the receiver.”
The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
Is something not working on this page? Please email email@example.com.
Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.