Embroidered Ottoman Hand Towel

1 in stock

This hand embroidered treasure is a very special piece of history. The Ottoman Empire, was created by Turkish tribes in Anatolia (Asia Minor) and it is considered that it grew to be one of the most powerful states in the world during the 15th and 16th centuries. In later times when an important visitor arrived at a grand home, servants would be sent to greet the guest with bowls of scented rose water so that the guest would dip the hands in to the water and would be presented with the hand towel to dry their hands. More ceremonial than hygienic!

This lovely item measures 17 x 31in (43 x 79cm, is made from linen and the embroidery is across both narrow ends. It is supplied wrapped and boxed.


1 in stock

1 in stock


The story of this little treasure

When I heard that Rebecca Scott (of Witney Antiques fame) was exhibiting at the Cotswold Art and Antique Dealer’s Association Fair at Compton Verney, I promised to go and see her. Whilst looking for her, I spotted two gorgeous, embroidered hand towels! I know that they do not look like hand towels, but these are very special. Hand made during the 18th century, this towel (not a posh enough) was created after the linen had been woven and then these patterns were embroidered in silk and gold threads. The patterns are repeated across the width of the material (selvedge to selvedge) and are counted motifs.