Enquiry about object: 8876
Ottoman Balkans Gilded Silver Cartridge Box
Ottoman Balkans circa 1800
height: 10.9cm, width: 12.2cm, depth: 3.1cm, weight: 126g
UK art market
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This box (known in Turkish as a palaska) is of repoussed, gilded silver sheet, and would have been used by a soldier or more likely, an officer, to store gun cartridges. It is from the Ottoman Balkans, most probably Serbia, Bulgaria, Bosnia or maybe Albania.
The front is repoussed with a mosque with four minarets surrounded by a leaf and floral border.
The reverse is decorated in relief with a large Sulaiman’s (Solomon’s) seal, four crescent moons and a pair of cypress trees.
The hinged lid is rounded and decorated with flowers in a trellis formation. The base and sides have related decoration.
There is a ring on each side of the box for suspension.
A related example attributed to Bosnia Herzegovina and probably dating to around 1800 is illustrated Elgood (2009, p. 122).
The example here is without splits or losses. Its age is clear.
Elgood, R., The Arms of Greece: And her Balkan Neighbours in the Ottoman Period, Thames & Hudson, 2009.
Koc, A., et al, Istanbul: The City and the Sultan, Nieuwe Kerk, 2007.