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A silk and metal-thread floral embroidered 'sofra bezi' table cover, Ottoman
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282
A silk and metal-thread floral embroidered 'sofra bezi' table cover, Ottoman
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Details & Cataloguing

Arts of the Islamic World

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A silk and metal-thread floral embroidered 'sofra bezi' table cover, Ottoman
possibly Palace workshop, embroidered with purl work and sequins
Approximately 176 by 173cm. diameter; 5ft. 9in., 5ft. 8in.
19th century
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Exhibited

Islamic Courtly Textiles and Trade Goods, 14th – 19th century, Exhibition, 4th April – 6th May 2011, Francesca Galloway, London, No. 10, pp.28-31

Catalogue Note

For comprehensive discussion of embroideries worked by professionals and the Palace workshops and used for family ceremonial and formal life as wrappers and as a growing range of covers ‘örtu’ (including those for tables ‘sofra bezi’ and trays ‘tepsi örtüsü’ ), see Taylor, Roderick, Ottoman Embroidery, London, 1993, Chp.2, The Embroidered Textiles, pp.25-139, Covers, pp.123-129.  By the mid 19th century the Ottoman designs were influenced by European styles, and revealed dense designs, a variety of finely worked techniques, and the introduction of the circular format of cloths. The larger the range of cloths one had, the more fashionable and international the household. The size, fineness of design and workmanship of this offered panel allude to it possibly being used as a table cover 'sofra bezi’' 

For a similar example on a red wool ground from the Topkapi Palace Museum, see Rogers, J.M., ed., Costumes, Embroideries and other Textiles, The Topkapi Saray Museum, London/Boston, 1986, no.113. inv.no.31/228. For a tray cover (140cm. diameter), with circular scroll of flowering stems, and a separate band of the same motif as the border, against a dark brown satin ground, with the same use of ribbons scrolled around the stems, as seen in the present cover, and cited with reference to descriptions of such sumptuous cloths being presented when serving coffee,  Krody, Sumru Belger, Flowers of Silk and Gold, Four Centuries of Ottoman Embroidery, The Textile Museum, Washington, 2000, cat.no.41, pp.82&143.  

Arts of the Islamic World

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London