Wall Hanging


This découpage panel in the shape of a closed altar piece includes a central roundel decorated with interlacing letters whose stems form a central six-pointed star. The round inscription is difficult to decipher, and may comprise a wise saying or a verse from the Qurʼan. In the middle of the upper arch, a round hook suggests that it was used as a wall hanging. The extractive technique of découpage is known in Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Turkish as qit'a, or literally "cutting out," and artists specializing in this technique were called qati'an (cutters). It appears that découpage calligraphy became popular around the last quarter of the 15th century, as Qadi Ahmad's treatise of 1606 (1015 AH) on the subject makes clear. Although the technique of découpage emerged during the second half of the 15th century, it became a popular tool for the making of Ottoman kalips (calligraphic perforated sheets) during the 16th-19th centuries. One Ottoman work of découpage made by a certain Suleyman is dated 1282 AH (1865-66). For these reasons, it is logical to assume that this découpage work was made in Ottoman Turkey in the 18th or 19th century.

Last updated: August 7, 2015