AN EMBROIDERED LEATHER WALLET, CONSTANTINOPLE, TURKEY, DATED 1780
of rectangular form with a fold-over cover, two cloth-lined internal compartments, decorated with silver and gilt thread with stylised foliate details and the initials 'J.S.', 'Constantinople 1780', gilt-metal lock
18.2 by 12cm.
Some wear as consistent with use and associated discoloration, notably to metal threads, rubbing to leather and extremities, scratches to gilt-metal lock, minor fraying to lining, as viewed.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
The interior of the wallet is inscribed ‘Constantinople 1780’ and contains two parts, one with a shaped flap and the other a pen compartment. Wallets such as this would have been commissioned by European visitors to the city, both as personalised accoutrements and as souvenirs of their exotic travels. The back of the case is inscribed with the monogram ‘J.S’, the likely owner, framed by embroidered flower heads and a ribbon.
A similar wallet can be found in the Sadberk Hanim Museum, Istanbul (Bilgi & Zanbak 2012, p.348).