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A Rare Ottoman Yildiz Palace-ware mother-of-pearl inlaid wooden scribe's box, period of Abdülhamid II, circa 1900

of rectangular form with a sloping hinged lid, the top surface and sides decorated with fleshy mother-of-pearl inlaid interlacing vegetal motifs, comprising palmettes and split-palmettes, the borders with micro-mosaic stained-wood inlay in chevron and parquetry designs, the interior lined with purple velvet. 61 by 40.5cm. Estimate 15,000—20,000 GBP

NOTE: The Yildiz Palace in Istanbul, the main residence of Sultan Abdülhamid II (1876-1909), housed some significant examples illustrating a variety of late nineteenth-century Ottoman artistic styles. The Sultan, a celebrated carpenter, produced and commissioned many works of art which formed the so-called Yildiz Palace style. Yildiz Palace-wares share a common decorative repertoire which refers back to key motifs of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In this era, basic ideas of pre-Ottoman Islamic arts have also been used. The non-Turkic elements of this style are related to the pan-Islamist policy of the Sultan. Very similar pieces to the present one have been published in the Dolmabahçe Palace catalogue (see Dolmabahçe Sarayi, [Ed. Cemal Oztas], Istanbul, 2005, pp.114-115).

Sotheby's. Arts of the Islamic World. 01 Apr 09. London www.sothebys.com photo courtesy Sotheby's