Name of Object:
Throne of Sultan Ahmed I
Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey
Topkapı Palace Museum
Date of Object:
During the reign of Sultan Ahmed I (Hegira 1011–26 / AD 1603–17)
Artist(s) / Craftsperson(s):
Sedefkâr (‘mother-of-pearl master’) Mehmed Agha (died 1st quarter of the 11th / 17th century).
Museum Inventory Number:
Material(s) / Technique(s):
Wood, lacquered (Edirnekari technique), and inlaid with mother-of-pearl, tortoiseshell, and gems (emerald, jade, diamond, turquoise, etc.).
Height 285 cm, width 102 cm, depth 66 cm
Period / Dynasty:
Topkapı Palace workshops, Istanbul, Turkey.
The throne of Sultan Ahmed I is one of the best examples of 11th / 17th century Ottoman woodwork. Made in the form of a baldachin, the throne has three low steps that lead up to the one-person seat. The baldachin itself is crowned with a dome.
View Short Description
This magnificent throne with superb mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell inlay work and numerous gems was made for Sultan Ahmed I. The floral motifs reflect the classical Ottoman period and are successfully rendered in very lively compositions.
Sultan Ahmed I
How date and origin were established:
The throne belongs to the Topkapı Palace; documents in the palace archive inform us that it belonged to Sultan Ahmed I and was made by Sedefkâr Mehmed Agha.
How Object was obtained:
The throne was probably made in the palace workshop and is still on display in the Treasury section of the Topkapı Palace Museum.
How provenance was established:
The throne was made for Sultan Ahmed I by the head architect of the palace, Sedefkâr Mehmed Agha. Thus, it is highly likely that it was produced in the palace workshops.
Barışta, ö., “Geleneksel Türk Sanatlarından Sedef Kakmacılık (Mother-of-Pearl Inlaying, A Traditional Turkish Art)”, Türkiye'de Sanatın Bugünü ve Yarını (The Today and Tomorrow of Art in ), Ankara, 1985, pp.393-400.
Citation of this web page:
Sevinç Gök Gürhan "Throne of Sultan Ahmed I" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;tr;Mus01_A;40;en