Brocaded velvet with chintamani design

Brocaded velvet with chintamani design

late 1400s

Velvet, brocaded: silk and silver-metal thread

Overall: 81.3 x 28.6 cm (32 x 11 1/4 in.); Mounted: 91.4 x 39.4 cm (36 x 15 1/2 in.)

Gift of Adolph Loewi 1943.313

Location

Description

This early Ottoman brocaded velvet was woven in an imperial workshop in the prosperous city of Bursa, the silk capital and major commercial center of the Ottoman Empire. It has exceptionally rich crimson silk pile, almost twice as dense as later monochrome velvets. The brocaded pattern of three balls and paired wavy bands is known as chintamani, derived from the Sanskrit word for a popular Buddhist motif, “the three jewels,” shown surrounded by flames or foliage in Buddhist art across Asia. Based on the high frequency of its use in art for the Islamic court of the Ottoman Turks, it appears to have been a favored motif and possibly even an unofficial imperial emblem.

See also
Collection: 
T - Islamic
Department: 
Textiles
Type of artwork: 
Velvet
Credit line: 
Gift of Adolph Loewi

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