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Esnaf, Tarcan (1971) Turkish metalwork of the Ottoman period. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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In order to survey Turkish metalwork of the Ottoman period one is confronted with many difficulties. The greater part of the collections in the museums of Turkey has not teen properly studied as specialists in Ottoman art have tended to concentrate on the other decorative fields, neglecting metalwork. As a consequence very little published material is available on this subject and difficulties have also been experienced in obtaining permission to study some collections. This research covers the metal objects mainly produced in Anatolia from the 14th century until about 1900, with the emphasis on the with and 18th century work. It should be noted that no translation of literary inscriptions on objects has been included, because it was considered that their quality and content added nothing of importance, Also regrettably the signatures when inscribed are too vague to yield any results from court and town archives. Even a tentative summary of the metalwork style of the early period is hardly possible since practically nothing is known. With the 15th century came the naturalistic style which was to influence every corner of the Ottoman decorative arts including the design repertoire of the metalworkers of this age. But this naturalistic quality was completely abandoned in the following century, a development paralleled in other applied arts. Until then, metalworkers had tended to employ the decorative schemes of the previous century in contrast with other artists and craftsmen. Instead 16th and 17th century metalwork, generally made in silver, was embellished with beautifully designed rumi, hatayi and palmette motifs, their importance within the composition being sometimes emphasized with calligraphy in a harmonious scheme. The year 1700 is a convenient date to divide between the classical style and the new more natural designs. Although the most characteristic forms of this period, mainly on copper, were floral and architectural motifs, rumi and hatayi decoration figured on some metalwork objects of this period. But for all the change in emphasis, the same high quality of workmanship, skill in design and execution and feeling for the metal use, prevailed. By the end of the 18th century, decline in the political arena was reflected in the arts including metalwork. A good deal of unpretentious but attractive metal objects were produced, some echoing the European Rococo style, this influence continuing through the 19th century. Turkish metalwork of the Ottoman period can scarcely be ignored with its rich but unappreciated decorative qualities. The large number of reproductions included in this study illustrates the basic types of vessels and the various motifs, which are described in the text with an assessment of techniques and decorative schemes.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:00

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