Monumental tombak ewer and basin
Tombak – Gilded copper
Turkey, First half of the 19th century, Ottoman Empire
Height ewer: 41; Diameter tray: 65 cm
This monumental ewer and basin, used to perform ablutions before prayers, is decorated with diamond pattern.
Tombak or gilded copper was a particularly sought after technique in the Ottoman world for the gilding of prestigious objects that were enriched with a thick layer of gold such as ewers and basins, chamfrains, shields or armours. The word tombak is thought to be coming from the Malaysian word tumbaga used to name a copper alloy. Objects in tombak bearing diamond patterns are very rare. The most famous example being a tombak ewer and basin kept in the collection of the Türk ve Islam Eserleri Müzesi in Istanbul this example is published in: Exhibition Catalogue, Musée national des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon (From the 4th of May to the 15th of August 1999) Topkapi à Versailles – Trésors de la Cour Ottomane, p. 151, N°103.