Opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper
Overall: 24.5 x 45.6 cm (9 5/8 x 17 15/16 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1944.525
A tughra is a formalized ornate signature or monogram at the top of a royal edict. This tughra has been cut off from the vertical scroll on which a proclamation of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed IV was written. Mehmed IV ruled during a time when the empire began to decline in power due to internal rivalries and the catastrophic military defeat at the Battle of Vienna in 1683.
In bold gold lettering, “Mehmed, son of Ibrahim Khan, the Eternally Victorious” has been calligraphed in Turkish. These words form the structure of the design, which has been filled with colors, floral patterns, and topped with an architectural crown. A foliated sunburst in turquoise, gold, and silver augments the luxury of the monogram.
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