An Important Ottoman Mirror, Probably was Commissioned for a Prominent French Individual, Circa 19th. Century.

Identification Number: 587


This Exceptionally Fine and Rare Ottoman Mirror with Cover is designed of a Typical Ottoman Round Form, Fitted with Gilt-Copper (Tombac) Mounts and purple Velvet Fabric, Seed Pearls, Soutache braid, gilt and spiral wires with couching technique of Metal Thread over Cardboard, decorated with devotional, marital and Christian logos.

This beautiful masterpiece is a unique presentation of an Ottoman style mirror, which was most likely made by an Armenian master and was probably commissioned by a prominent wealthy European individual most likely to be a French couple to commemorate their wedding occasion.


This opinion is due to the use of various embroidered French symbols on this magnificent piece, such as the French influenced marriage love token depicting Cupid’s, Bow and Arrow that symbolize marital readiness and long-lasting commitment and the burning flame which symbolize passion and spiritual inspiration but noticeably the frequent and multiple  use of the Golden Fleur-De-Lis or Lys (originally a species of wild Lily flower or Iris which is called pseudacorus, this symbol was the traditional coat of arms of France and originally symbolizes the French Monarchy, this symbol was also used in other specific western places such as in Spain and in Canada, also the symbol has other Christian spiritual and devotional meanings.


The symbol of the Fleur-De-Lis was used in France from the late Middle Ages until the French revolution in 1792 AD., also it was used briefly during the 19th. century, but generally speaking this motif still represents France, the shape of the symbol is of a teardrop like shape surrounded by two similar outward-curling C-shape motifs underlined at the bottom with a small horizontal line that ties the leaves together, the repetitive use of this symbol on the piece represents clear evidence that it had been commissioned for an individual with a high-ranking status in the French government or other royal personality.


The finely embroidered borders of both sides of the mirror case and its lid are been repeatedly embroidered and decorated with the beautiful heart shape motif surrounding the symbol of the Golden Fleur-De-Lis amidst flower arrangements.


The decoration at the top of the central part of the backside of the mirror is embroidered with two beautiful interlocking wedding flower wreaths surrounding at the centre the Initials of the two married couples which if they were intended to be in French Alphabet, they are most likely be referring to the letters L T.


Also, there is another possibility that the embroider had decided to use Armenian Alphabet on the piece, for the initials used have some resemblance to Armenian Alphabet, and if that was the case then the letters are potentially the following:


Translating to


Also, on the other side particularly on the mirror’s lid an additional beautiful embroidered decoration depicting a devotional Christian iconography of the cross, anchor and the captivating or devotional symbol of two flaming hearts which is an expression of true love and commitment.

For related fine Ottoman embroidered works of Art and similar materials used, please see the bellow:


An exceptionally fine 19th. Century Ottoman Hilye-I Sherif and the Murassa (encrusted) cover, (for the item’s information please see the references).


23.5 cm is the diam.
3 cm is the depth.


very good, some loss of the embroidered seed pearls and silver thread.


The European Art Market.



For various related fine embroidered velvet fabric with seed pearls, soutache braid, gilt and spiral wires with couching technique of metal thread over cardboard, please

Children of the Ottoman Seraglio, Customs and costumes of the Prince and Princesses by Hulya Tezcan, Aygaz, Turkey, Istanbul, 2006, ISBN: 975-98372-3-4.
Please see the magnificent embroidered Quran case lot no. 181catalouged on page 215, also please see the other related embroidered Quran purse lot no. 151 catalogued on page 175.

Please also see: Ottoman Embroiders in the Sadberk Hanim Museum Collection, see Silk of the Hand Delight of the Eye, by Hulya Bilgi-Idil Zanbak, 2012, ISBN: 978-975-6959-62-6.
Please alos see the very similar fine work and materials used in the making of the 19th. Century Ottoman Hilye-I Sherif and the Murassa cover, Surre-i Humayun, (the treasury or treasures which were sent to Mecca & Medina), By Seyit Ali Kahraman, published by the Turkish Ministry of culture and general manager of museum logo Topkape Sarays Mizes, Istanbul, ISBN:978-9944-370-49-3. the item is illustrated in page 165.
The treasury collection, T.S.M. 2/3380, Bilirgen 1995, s. 390.

Please also see the similar fine work in various types of Ottoman Textiles, lot no. 128, the bedspread catalogued on pages 306-307, lot no. 130, the Sachet catalogued on pages 310-311, lot no. 142, the saddle accoutrements catalogued on pages 336-337, lot no. 154, the Cuz Pouch catalogued on pages 354-356, lot no. 158, the Comb case catalogued on page 360.

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  • Ottoman Embroidery, A Very Rare And Fine Ottoman Embroidered Ceremonial Metal-Thread On Red Velvet Cloth Circular Sofra Bezi (Table Cover), Probably Istanbul, Turkey, 19th Century.