VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Bottle (matara) in crescent-like shape
SKAZsz 2270 MNW
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This matara is a unique object. It presents the style of ornamentation popular under a reign of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent seen also in architecture and other crafts. Up to the present day only three leather bottles have been preserved and are known to the enthusiasts of Islamic Turkish art. Two of them are gathered in the museums in Warsaw and Vienna. The third one is in a private collection.

History of the Object
Unknown

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Type
Decorative Art 
Materials
Leather coloured and punched, decoration stamped, appliqué and gilt 
Measurements
Width 14 cm Height 23 cm Length 24,5 cm  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Turkey 
Geography
Turkey 
Time period
AD 16th century ~ AD 16th century 
Creation date
2nd half of 16th Century 
Function
Broaded at the bottom, with a crooked spout and a narrow neck, it served as a container for water. The decoration of the bottle arranged symmetrically on both longer sides presents a composition of arabesque motifs – palmettes, leaves and scrolls. Opposite the spout appears a stamped star – so called Solomon seal - which has a symbolic meaning and gives protection against evil. The leather matara copies a shape and corresponds with the measurements of gold bottles set with precious stones, which were used at court by the sultan. The resemblance in form of the gold and leather matara bottles indicates the similarity of their function. There is a supposition that the leather bottles were used by the sultan during his war campaigns, also in Europe. 
Acquisition
Acquired by the museum in 1947. 
Copyright
Copyright Ⓒ National Museum in Warsaw 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
National Museum in Warsaw, state property 
Museum
National Museum in Warsaw 
Credit line
Courtesy of the National Museum in Warsaw 

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