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Asian Art
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Fall-Front Cabinet with the Monogram of Sultan Abdulhamid II

late 19th century

Wood with mother-of-pearl inlay

16 3/4 × 12 × 10 in. (42.5 × 30.5 × 25.4 cm) Open: 20 3/4 in. (52.7 cm)
Gift of Cecilia Bratten
2018.77.1
The top of this cabinet features an elaborate calligraphic rendition of the name of the Ottoman sultan Abdulhamid II. Such monograms are called tughras, and they were used to authenticate imperial documents beginning in the early Ottoman period. By the nineteenth century, however, tughras had become visual expressions of Ottoman imperial identity—shown not only on paper and coins, but also on architectural monuments and furniture.
Geography: 
Turkey
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
Turkish
Period: 
Ottoman period (1299–1922)
Classification: 
Containers - Wood
Provenance: 

Purchased by Cecilia Bratten in Turkey in August 2007; gifted in 2017 to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Bibliography: 

“Acquisitions July 1, 2017–June 30, 2018,” https://artgallery.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/bulletin/Pub-Bull-acquisitions-2018.pdf (accessed December 1, 2018).

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.