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Tent panels at the Textile Museum

Velvet panels made in Persia were used to decorate the tent of Ottoman Empire sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. The pieces later made their way to Poland to adorn a blanket of Prince Sanguszko.
Velvet panels made in Persia were used to decorate the tent of Ottoman Empire sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. The pieces later made their way to Poland to adorn a blanket of Prince Sanguszko. (Textile Museum)

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Thursday, February 10, 2011; 10:32 AM

THE STORY BEHIND

THE WORK

While most of the works on display as part of "Second Lives: The Age-Old Art of Recycling Textiles" are patchworks of other fabrics, one had multiple incarnations without ever changing a thread. Woven in Persia with silk and metallic yarns, a couple of decorative velvet panels made their way to Turkey in the 16th century. While accounts vary, one claims that Ottoman Empire sultan Suleiman the Magnificent came by the panels during a raid. Used as ornamentation for the sultan's tent, the panels were handed down to the Turkish Grand Vizier, who had them until 1683 during the Siege of Vienna. From there, the pieces made their way to Prince Sanguszko of Poland, who added them as an adornment to a blanket used on his family's sleigh.

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