TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  The Cintamani Pattern
Author  :  Daniel Deschuyteneer
Date  :  06-06-2000 on 01:21 p.m.
daniel.d@infonie.be One of the piece illustrated in by R. John in this Salon is a nice 17th century piece with the cintamani pattern on a blue ground. According to Nevber Gürsu (1), the origin of the motifs and their symbolic forms dates back to the Buddhist period in China, where it represents pearls arising from the wave. The cintamani pattern or three leopard dot and tiger stripes, a well known decorative motif which appeared in Ottoman art from the 15th century onwards, was used in all the various branches of court art. This motif was first used as a symbol of power but gradually it has been used only as a decorative motif, the triple leopard dot and the tiger stripes being used together or separately. Here is a picture from one of the two oldest specimen of fabrics of the Ottoman art. It’s a chatma (brocaded silk velvet) fabric of the second half of the 15th century, woven in Bursa and preserved in the Washington Textile Museum. It is illustrated in Nevber Gürsu book (fig 6) and in Mackie 1974 – (fig 14). The metallic threads used for the design are obtained by wrapping ivory or yellow silk with silver. One characteristic of the Ottoman art is the stylistic homogeneity embracing all the various different artistic branches, which were under government supervision. Here are some photos I made when I went some months ago to Istanbul, of the cintamani pattern used in Iznik tiles. As I visited a lot of places and did a lot of photos, I am no longer certain of their origin, but I think they are from tiles in the Topkapi Saray Museum. They illustrate various evolution of the pattern along the centuries. The following is a picture of an exceptional 17th century northwest Anatolian bohca from the Palazzo Reale Collection, illustrated (fig6) in "Sovrani Tappeti", it shows one of the myriad interpretations of this motif. Thanks, Daniel FOOTNOTE (1) Nevber Gürsu, "The Art of Turkish Weaving – Designs through the Ages". page 180

Subject  :  RE:The Cintamani Pattern
Author  :  R. John Howe
Date  :  06-06-2000 on 08:03 p.m.
Hi Daniel - Thanks for this wonderful filling out of the discussion of this piece. One small correction. The piece with the three "leopard spots" and "tiger" stripes shown in this TM rug morning had a red ground rather than a blue one. It's just that the flashless photo doesn't reveal the actual color of this piece. More, it may well be that the red ground piece for which you provide a detail(if it is a TM piece) is the same piece. Again, TM Rug Morning presentations have to be fairly basic because of the mix of experience in the audience. The more detailed descriptions and explanatory discussion you're providing here is very useful. Regards, R. John Howe

Subject  :  RE:The Cintamani Pattern
Author  :  Steve+Price
Date  :  06-08-2000 on 06:41 a.m.
sprice@hsc.vcu.edu Dear Folks, There is a wonderful article by Gerard Paquin in HALI issue No. 64 that is germane to the topic here. It covers the history and evolution of the cintamani pattern in some considerable detail, and anyone seriously interested in learning what's known about this ought to curl up with it. Paquin also has an article on the web dealing with Turkish textile design more generally. Here is a link to it (you can find it on Turkotek's Links page, too, of course). http://jefferson.village.virginia.edu/~jmu2m/gp/ Steve Price

Subject  :  RE:The Cintamani Pattern
Author  :  Deschuyteneer Daniel
Date  :  06-09-2000 on 11:05 a.m.
Dear all, Another interesting article has been published in Ghereh issue 18 - pages 71-73 - and a very striking fragment using the seraser tecnique showing the chintanamy pattern is also illustrated. Enjoy, Daniel Deschuyteneer

Subject  :  RE:The Cintamani Pattern
Author  :  John Howe
Date  :  06-11-2000 on 06:43 a.m.
rjhowe@erols.com It seems to me that the image that Daniel refers to from the Ghereh article is worth putting up. Here it is Michael Seidman said in this TM Rug Morning presentation that the meanings behind the cintamani design have been conjectured about extensively. In this short article some of these interpretations are presented. First, the design is sometimes seen to be “of Far Eastern Buddhist origin, where it consisted of three flaming pearls placed over sea waves (hence the wavy bands).” The passage also says that Ellis suggests that “the group of three balls,” “eyes” and all may represent the Triple Jewel of the Far East and the stripes the lips of Buddha. It is further indicated that the design “was to become an Islamic symbol of good luck and protection from the evil eye.” For a time it was considered to be the badge of Timur. Regards, R. John Howe

Subject  :  RE:The Cintamani Pattern
Author  :  Bertram Frauenknecht
Date  :  06-12-2000 on 07:42 a.m.
bertram-rugs@t-online.de Hi everybody, In about 1990 we had a museum show here in Germany, the reproduction of an Etruscan site situated north of Rome, full of wall paintings, from the 5th c. BC. The paintings were pictured in the 19th c. by some Italians. One of the paintings shows a dancer or musician wearing a skirt that clearly depicts part of the Cintamani pattern, the three dots or cat paw design, as the Turks call it. Bertram

Subject  :  RE:The Cintamani Pattern
Author  :  R. John Howe
Date  :  06-12-2000 on 04:17 p.m.
Dear folks - I visited the Corcoran Topkapi exhibition again today. First, in the first large (about 10 feet by 24 feet) red ground rug with a version of the cintamani pattern, the wavy element is place vertically on the carpet and the three discs are placed along side it with one point of the three disc triangle pointing to the right. Second, the three discs are in this case hollowed out on the inside to convert them into crescents. (If you notice the discs in the Daniel's tile examples you will see that there is often a smaller circular element inside perimeter of each disc.) In some versions this internal disc is place off center near the edge. In this version the off center internal element is missing and this results in the crescent shape. Second, I noticed for the first time that the cintamani pattern is present in another large red ground carpet in this exhibition. This time the wavy lines are smaller and more horizontal and the three discs have different colored circular elements that are off center, similar to Daniel's tile examples. So apparently, there are a number of versions of the cintamani design, as indeed Daniel's original post suggested. Regards, R. John Howe

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