Antique 16th century Turkish Ottoman leather water flask (Matara) formed from the hind-quarters of an animal with stitching down the middle of the flask, one leg acting as the spout, the other shortened and stitched, acting as a small handle, retained its original wooden stopper. The Matara leather water flasks were very popular in Turkish Ottoman Army.
MEASUREMENTS: Height: from the top of the stopper to the bottom of the base: 34.8 cm (13 3/4 in).
CONDITION: In its original condition, showing the age and usage, with a dark brown patina.
REFERENCES: Identical Flask is published in the Bonhams catalogue: Islamic & Indian Art London 19 April 2007 lot 181. Title: An Ottoman leather Water Flask (matara)
Turkey, 16th Century, at a Estimate Price: £2,000 - 3,000 US$ 3,200 - 4,700 €2,300 - 3,500.
This water flask is the prototype for a shape which was copied in far more lavish and durable materials from the sixteenth century. A famous example in gemset rock crystal is in the Topkapi Palace Collection (Atil, E.: The Age of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, exhibition catalogue, Washington D.C., 1987, no.60, p.129. Two copies were also made in pottery at Iznik. One is published by Atasoy and Raby (Atasoy, N and Raby, J.: Iznik -- the Pottery of Ottoman Turkey, London, 1989, no.634, while the other, painted in the 'Damascus' palette, is in a private collection. For a metal prototype in the Sadberk Hanim Museum, see, Bodur, Fulya, The Art of Turkish Metalworking, Istanbul, 1987, p.112, pl.A.55.
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