131. A Magnificent Ottoman Cabinet

Istanbul, 17th century Size: 1.34 m high
Wood, tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl, ivory

This style of decoration is typical of the 17th century, more flamboyant than the relatively austere examples of the previous century, and devoid of the rococo elements that crept in a century later. It matches furniture of the same period in Topkapi Palace, and in the Sultan’s lodge and corridor at the Yeni Cami mosque. The left side is undecorated, so it was designed to fit a specific location. Its elegance is in stark contrast to the Austro-Hungarian style of furniture that was popular during the later Ottoman period.

Provenance: Lefevre Gallery, Paris Harry Blackmer Private collection, U.K.

On loan for the exhibition.