Ottoman Gilt Metal, Enamel, Coral, Silver and Foiled Glass Mirror
Ottoman Turkey, Greece or Cyprus
length: 24.3cm, diameter: 8.4cm
This elegant hand mirror is decorated with a fabulous gilt metal backing inset with engraved tear drop coral cabochons, silver and gilt applique, and foiled faceted glass. Applied to the centre of this elaborate backplate is a tiered boss in green enamel, topped with a round, engraved coral. The use of enamel in this type of Ottoman filigree work is relatively rare.
The handle of the mirror is of hollow cast gilded silver decorated to both sides with red foiled glass and coral cabochons.
The form of the backing is similar to an Ottoman belt buckle and might have been fashioned from a buckle or been made by a buckle maker.
An Ottoman buckle of similar form including the central enamel boss was offered by Sotheby’s, ‘Islamic Works of Art, Carpets and Textiles,’ April 17, 1987, lot no. 361. Another with gilt filigree and coral is illustrated in Istanbul: The City and the Sultan, De Nieuwe Kerk, p. 116.
The proportions of the mirror – a round head and a long, thin handle – are in keeping with Ottoman mirrors that date from the sixteenth through to the nineteenth centuries. Several examples are to be found in the collection of the Topkapi Palace Museum in Istanbul. These are illustrated in Askit, I., The Topkapi Palace, Askit, 2000, p. 184-5, and Roxburgh, D. (ed.), Turks: A Journey of a Thousand Years 600-1600, RAA, 2005, p. 328 & 367.
Inventory no.: 672