Extract

Silks for the Sultans

Silks from the Topkapı Palace, Topkapı Palace Museum, April 19–22, 2007
Imperial kaftans were presented in kaleidoscopic patchworks of silk that were works of art in their own right

  • This spectacular example of hazepare was made in the 16th century

The imperial tailors of the Topkapı created beautiful bohças, or wrappings, from remnants of fabric left over from kaftans made for the court, using a fine patchwork tecnique known as hazerpare (a thousand pieces). A bohça was given a matching lining and used as a wrapping in which to present the finished garment – how much lovelier than our modern gift paper.

Quite apart from their artistic merit, bohcas are valuable sample-books of fabrics used at the time, and unrivalled rources for collectors and scholars alike.

The Topkapı’s exhibition was not confined to bohças but included other vivid silks collected for the palace, among them prayer rugs from Chios and fabrics from Mughal India.

This exhibition was the brainchild of Dr Hülya Tezcan, formerly curator of textiles at the Topkapı, who has written the catalogue. She is also the author of Children of the Ottoman Seraglio: Customs and Costumes of the Princes and Princesses.

To read the full article, purchase Issue 37

Issue 37, 2007 A Riot of Textiles
£350.00 / $464.49 / 2,178.21 TL
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Buy the issue
Issue 37, 2007 A Riot of Textiles
£350.00 / $464.49 / 2,178.21 TL
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