Style and Status: Imperial Costumes from Ottoman Turkey

Robe (Kaftan)

Turkey, Ottoman dynasty,
17th century Brocaded silk (lampas weave) lined with satin
Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul, 13/408

The most distinctive motifs associated with the Ottomans is known as çintamani, a term derived from the Sanskrit for “auspicious jewel.” It consists of three balls or pearls in a triangular arrangement, at times combined with one to three wavy parallel bands. The motif, long regarded among Turkic people as a symbol to ward off evil, had been popular in Iran and Central Asia for centuries. In the Ottoman Empire, however, it acquired new visual and symbolic significance as the ultimate aid expression of Ottoman imperial power and identity.