GOOD ANTIQUE OTTOMAN SILVER HAMMAM BOWL, REPOUSSE, OMPHALOS, EARLY-MID 19. This lovely Ottoman period silver Hammam (Turkish bath) bowl is of good size, with a raised boss to the centre of the base, known as an omphalos, meaning navel or belly button. It stands on a plain silver foot. The design derives from classical Greek and Roman bowls, which were used as libation or offering vessels, called piastres. The age of the bowl is unknown but the style suggests it probably dates to the early or mid 19.
There are silver marks to two places, which show the crab French silver guarantee mark, which was introduced in 1838, suggesting that the bowl was made in France for the lucrative Ottoman market. In this lovely example, the bowl has been ornamented using repousse and chased techniques. Underneath a border of curled acanthus leaves, to the top of the side, a repeating panel of flowering plants alternate with floral sprays.
There is a repeating petal border underneath. To the interior, a flower with multiple petals ornaments the top of the boss, with a narrow border of scrollwork around the base of the mound. The form of this vessel is known as a mesophilic piastre.
The reason for the raised area to the base was to facilitate a depression to the underside so that the vessel could be held securely with one hand once it had been filled with liquid. The thumb would be placed on the rim of the bowl and the other fingers would be inserted inside the depression. This allowed the bowl to be gripped and held very easily and securely with one hand, which was ideal for the hammam.A fine example of a very unusual bowl, of great historic interest, in very good condition! Size Height 6 cms; Width 18.5 cms.
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If you are looking to sell, please contact me with details. The item "GOOD ANTIQUE OTTOMAN SILVER HAMMAM BOWL, REPOUSSE, OMPHALOS, EARLY-MID 19TH C" is in sale since Thursday, October 4, 2018. This item is in the category "Antiques\Silver\Solid Silver\Bowls". The seller is "jcohenantiques" and is located in London.This item can be shipped worldwide.