View interesting Ottoman artefacts in this Sharjah museum

View interesting Ottoman artefacts in this Sharjah museum

Sharjah - With more than 50 unique and rare Islamic artifacts, the exhibition tells the story of the Ottomans during the 16th-17th centuries


Sherouk Zakaria

Published: Fri 4 Nov 2016, 10:15 PM

Last updated: Sat 5 Nov 2016, 12:24 AM

The recent rise of Turkish soap operas on Arabic TV has sparked curiosity of many viewers about the Ottoman Empire's history and culture.
And if you're a history buff, you will find joy in visiting the brand new exhibition the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation has recently unveiled.
Displaying a collection of more than 50 unique and rare Islamic artifacts, the exhibition tells the story of the Ottoman rule in Hungary during the 16th and 17th centuries.
'The Spectacle and Splendour - Ottoman Masterpieces from the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest' exhibition, running until January 19, features priceless Ottoman artifacts dating back to 500 years.
The collection, ranging from embroidered luxury textiles, bejeweled ceremonial weapons, decorated saddle cloths, silk garments and woven rugs, captures the period when parts of Hungary, mainly the central and southern regions, were under Ottoman rule.
During this time, it was common among the Hungarian elite to acquire the finest items from Ottoman workshops as a sign of power, authority and sophistication.
Provoked into war by diplomatic insult, Saleyman the Magnificent attacked the Kingdom of Hungary, capturing Belgrade in 1521. The badly-led Hungarian army that constituted around 26,000 soldiers compared to 45,000 Ottoman soldiers were easily defeated in 1526 at the Battle of Mohacs. 
Many of the pieces on display entered Hungary as prized token of diplomacy, through trade or as war booty.  Some items display the skills acquired in Hungary as a result of the Ottoman rule.
"This exhibition is designed to appeal to a wide range of audiences, from those interested in Islamic art and culture to contemporary art and design practitioners," said Manal Ataya, Director-General of the Sharjah Museums Department.
Ataya added that for those interested in art and design rather than art history, the pieces also offer great historical case studies of product design and the successful aesthetic combination of colours, patterns, textures and craft techniques.
"We hope visitors will be inspired by the aesthetic subtlety of the designs and the way weavers, dyers, embroiderers and metalworkers went about their craft with such skill and dedication,: said Ataya.
The exhibition marks the first collaboration between Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation and the Budapest Museum of Applied Arts- one of the oldest museums.
While the pieces provide a gateway into the history of the Ottoman empire and its interaction with Eastern Europe, in particular Hungary and Transylvania, they also touch upon key aspects of Islamic civilisation at large, such as the symbolic importance of textiles and carpets, the exchange of diplomatic gifts, and horsemanship.

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